Central Coast face the ignominy of finishing with the wooden spoon for the second season in a row after Saturday’s loss to Western Sydney.
Central Coast coach Mike Mulvey admits the rebuilding job at the A-League club is bigger than he envisioned as they face finishing with yet another wooden spoon.
The last-placed Mariners are now six points adrift of their nearest rival after slumping to a 2-0 defeat to Western Sydney on Saturday night.
While conceding the bubble had burst on his team following a string of brave performances, Mulvey shouldered the blame for their latest loss.
“I take full responsibility for everything. After being two-nil up last week we looked at how are we going to play,” Mulvey said.
“If we have got a lead, do we need to change something? So we looked at that and we tended towards that throughout the whole week.
“And I’m just questioning whether that might have been a mistake.”
He singled out midfielders Connor Pain and Matt Millar for being too deep against the Wanderers in a game where the Mariners failed to produce serious chances.
“I don’t think Connor has been as deep as he as he actually was today ever. So you know maybe I confused the situation,” he said.
“With Connor and Matty, they’re very important parts of our cog and we didn’t get them into the game as much as we would’ve liked to in the first half.”
There are still nine games left in the season, but it would take a serious turnaround for the Mariners to avoid a third last-place finish in four seasons.
And while each spoon has been under the guidance of a different coach, Mulvey is hopeful of sticking around long enough to shape his own roster.
“We need to get our visa players nailed down,” he said.
“We need to make sure that our retention of players is right, the right players to stay with the players that we got.”
The former Brisbane manager has already begun preparations for next season.
“The owner was here this week, we’ve got a new board of directors that have been formed. Of course we are (preparing for next season),” he said.
“The job is a lot more difficult than I thought it was when I first came here.”