• Players are 'hurting' ... Central Coast coach Phil Moss (Getty)
Central Coast Mariners coach Phil Moss has warned Sydney FC it is in for a torrid match as the A-League champion battles to arrest a five-game losing streak.
Source
AAP
26 Feb 2014 - 3:00 PM  UPDATED 26 Feb 2014 - 3:38 PM

Moss admits his team is "hurting" but insists it will draw confidence from its trip to Korea Republic despite losing 2-0 to FC Seoul in its AFC Champions League opener on Tuesday night.

Although FC Seoul was ultimately a clear winner, it took a highly contentious penalty just past the half-hour mark to swing momentum towards the home team.

The Mariners now have little time to regroup before hosting Sydney FC on Saturday, but Moss says their belief remains strong.

"I think we can hold our heads high and come back from Korea with some confidence," said Moss.

"Although the results aren't going our way at the moment we know we are not far off. That keeps the belief strong, and everyone is on the same page.

"When you come away and put on a performance like we did (against FC Seoul) defensively, and it took a highly controversial penalty decision to swing the match in their favour, it gives us a lot of confidence.

"We have a lot of pride and everyone is hurting right now. We will come out fighting on Saturday night and Sydney FC will know they are in for a game."

The Mariners go into Saturday's match against the Sky Blues without any added injury concerns.

Attacker Mile Sterjovski and veteran defender Eddy Bosnar will be fresh after not making the midweek trip, while striker Mitchell Duke and attacking midfielder Anthony Caceres were only used briefly in Seoul.

The Mariners will host J.League champion Sanfrecce Hiroshima in a fortnight with little margin for error if they wish to repeat last year's qualification for the knockout stage.

The Japanese side drew 1-1 against the visiting Beijing Guoan in the other Group F match on Tuesday.

Moss says the Mariners will approach the home match against Sanfrecce with more attacking intent than was the case against FC Seoul.

"We will be looking to force the game a bit more," said Moss. "We will be looking to play higher up the pitch and create problems for them."