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A preliminary final win over Brisbane animal roars at fellow players

2013.04.18 Thu

15:03:09

While the Mariners have battled through a frantic close to their season,front lace wigs complicated by Asian Champions League (ACL) fixtures, Tony Popovic's Western Sydney Wanderers have had plenty of time to rest and contemplate the fairytale of winning the league title in their debut season.

But the Mariners insist this might work against the Wanderers.

"They have played only one game in 22 days," said Mariners coach Graham Arnold, referring to the Sydney team's 2-0 preliminary final win over Brisbane Roar.

"Footballers like routine. They like playing regularly. So hopefully we will go in much more match-hardened."

If the Mariners do break their grand final hoodoo and win on Sunday, there will be no time for celebrations.

They fly to South Korea on Monday morning for an ACL match the following night, an indication of the sort of hectic schedule the Wanderers might face next season.

But the Mariners have mind games of their own to win in the meantime.

They face jibes that they are "chokers" who have lost all three of their previous A-League grand finals, including the "unloseable" decider two years ago when they surrendered a two-goal lead at the death.

They dismiss any suggestion this has placed a monkey on their back.

"People talk about the past three grand final (losses) but we can't do anything about them," Arnold said as the Mariners trained in front of hundreds of their supporters at Tuggerah on Thursday.

"We are fresh and motivated,wigs natural hair and as long as we execute our game plan we will be fine."

Midfielder Oliver Bozanic said the so-called hoodoo "doesn't mean anything to us".

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