Central Coast coach Mike Mulvey has ruled out the possibility of falling on his sword after his men were humiliated 8-2 on Saturday night by Wellington Phoenix.
In an A-League record-equalling highest scoring match, horrified home fans watched their team buried under an avalanche of goals by a ruthless Nix outfit.
Mulvey was ushered down the tunnel immediately following the final whistle but returned to face the media, vowing he wouldn’t quit.
It was a moment of stomach-churning de javu for the former A-League title-winning coach.
Last season, as the incoming coach, he watched from the stands as Newcastle Jets annihilated the Mariners by the same score line in the final game of the campaign.
This time he had to wear the ignominy of the record drubbing. Fans booed as the players left the pitch and Mulvey described the atmosphere at Central Coast Stadium as “toxic”.
“I don’t blame the fans, it is a symptom of where we are right now,” he told Fox Sports.
“If you pare back performances from the beginning of this year we’ve been competitive in a lot of games and right now you can see the cracks starting to appear. That’s not good. What we need to do is find out if we can get some players back and get a team ready to go next week.
“One thing I’ll tell you is I won’t quit. I won’t walk away. I never walk away from anything. If there’s anything that the club needs to do they’ll do it, that’s the bottom line. Me myself, I’m going to front up tomorrow, get back to work, get the team on an even keel and go forward.”
After some bright opening exchanges the home side went down to a Sam Graham own goal in the 8th minute before Phoenix, chasing a home final, turned the screws.
Braces from Roy Krishna (12', 45+1') and Sapreet Singh (57', 88') and goals to David Williams (21'), Liberato Cacace (51') and Louis Fenton (59') made it a night to savour for the visitors.
Jack Clisby (61') and Stephen Mallon (69') clawed two back for the Mariners, but it was little consolation.
The home side went into the game without Andrew Hoole after the attacker was stood down for breaching the team’s no-drinking policy and Mulvey admitted the club, which is sitting last on the ladder with just seven points, is in the midst of a crisis.
“Is it a crisis? Of course it’s a crisis because the club’s just lost 8-2. We lost 5-3 the other week against Brisbane so we’re not in a good place.
“We are missing quite a few players. I don’t use that as an excuse. Right now you’ll be struggling to find any bright spots after tonight.”
Mulvey said the season had been "blighted by individual errors" before adding "the buck stops with me".
He added: “It’s very difficult to be able to sign players when you look at what’s going on right now. But we’ve got a couple lads arriving tomorrow to start training with us with a view to next season. We just need to make sure we get some players back to help us with the game next week against Newcastle and we go out there with 11 players that want to play for the badge, want to play for the club and want to play for their own futures.”