Phil Moss and his man-management skills were brought to fruition during the week with comments he made about Mitchell Duke and his recent form for the Mariners.
Moss stated during the week that he believed Mitchell Duke had suffered from "Second Season Syndrome" a common occurance across all professional sports.
''Quite simply, Mitch's form has been up and down. I think he could be described as a victim of second-year syndrome,'' Moss said. ''Last year was his breakthrough, making it into the Socceroos squad and everything happened so quickly. Next thing you know, there's agents in his ear, telling him he can get to England, Germany and anywhere else, but what really matters is doing the hard yards with the club you're at and making sure your form is consistent.
Duke responded to these comments from Moss in the best way possible, scoring the winner in the 75th minute against Sydney FC on Saturday night and ending a 5 game losing streak for the Mariners.
Duke looked like a different player, Matt Simon esque in my opinion. He looked fired up and determined to prove to his manager that he deserved his place as the lone striker in the Mariners starting line-up. Duke gave his best perormance for the Central Coast Mariners, running himself into the ground, putting pressure on Sydney FC defenders and matching the Sydney FC defense physically (which isn't an easy task when facing 6'5ft defender Sasa Ognenovski).
Phil Moss showed Mariners fans that he has stepped out of the shadow of Graham Arnold is stamping his authority on his team. Hopefully Duke and others react positively and help the Mariners in defending their championship from last season. It's along way to go but the Mariners are potentially turning the corner.