Central Coast Mariners coach Nick Montgomery and defender Kye Rowles believe the hurt of their FFA Cup final loss can spur their young group onto bigger things.
Central Coast Mariners coach Nick Montgomery is confident his young charges will learn from the hurt of a tight FFA Cup final loss to Melbourne Victory and it will ultimately drive them to bigger and better things.
The Mariners held off Victory until Jason Davidson's masterful free-kick in the 70th minute, then Chris Ikonomidis' wonderful injury-time volley proved enough to seal the deal for Victory, despite a last-ditch goal from Mariners skipper Oliver Bozanic.
"There's so many positives to take out of that game and you do move forward," Montgomery said after the 2-1 loss.
"In football, things move forward very quickly. We've got so many games coming up now. The boys will take a lot of confidence from that.
"One thing I know about this group is that although they're young, they're very resilient and I can say we'll stick together and dust ourselves down and prepare for what's going to be a busy period."
Joint Mark Viduka Medallist Kye Rowles and young centre-back Dan Hall marshalled Central Coast's defence with aplomb throughout.
"We've got a young group. We stick together and look at Rowles. He's still a young player but for me he's been outstanding and he deserved that medal today," Montgomery said.
"We've got leaders like him on the park and these young boys are learning every single day, getting valuable experience. We'll be better for this as a group."
Rowles expects the culture the young Mariners group have built to hold them in good stead as they make a charge at the latter stages of the A-League Men season.
"It's pretty clear to see that we'll fight for each other until the last whistle," Rowles said.
"It's just important to have that strong bond in the changing room and all the young lads are learning really quick. They're really stepping up and confidence within the group is growing week in week out.
"Even with results like this, you know that you can match it with the big boys and you can do anything."