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Arnold optimistic of keeping Rogic, Ryan
By Adrian Warren
16:10 AEST Tue Jan 1 2013

Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold is optimistic he can retain outstanding youngsters Tomas Rogic and Mat Ryan, and he has ruled out making any major signings in the January transfer window.

The Mariners stayed two points clear at the top of the A-League ladder with a hard-fought 1-0 home win over Perth on New Year's Eve, their sixth home win from as many games.

Classy midfielder Rogic, who is currently suspended, and goalkeeper Ryan have both been the subject of speculation about a potential overseas move in the transfer window.

"The January transfer window is always a nervous time for coaches, and it's no different here especially when you've got top young kids that are doing what they are doing," Arnold said.

"At this moment I'd say it's about 75-25 that he (Rogic) will stay.

"There hasn't been a 100 per cent confirmation of an offer.

"I read where the CEO of (English Premier League club) Reading Nick Hammond has come out and said they were interested, because they've seen Tommy before.

"Tommy has been over there, after he won the Nike Challenge, they are the club that wanted to sign him, so they know what Tommy is about.

"But until something is official he's a Mariners player."

Asked about Ryan's future, Arnold replied "at this stage Matty Ryan is 100 per cent staying because there's nothing concrete, there's no firm offer.

"Until Matty's agent tells us something different Matty is staying."

Arnold stressed the Mariners were not in a position to fortify their squad for the second half of their A-League campaign.

"No money, it's that simple," Arnold said.

"We work within the salary cap (and) we're not a bigger club that can go out and buy marquee players unfortunately so what we've got is what we have.

"I've got all the faith in the world in these players and I truly think we'll get to the second round of the ACL (Asian Champions League) with this squad."

Arnold refused to get excited about the Mariners' lofty ladder position.

"We've achieved nothing, we're 14 games into the season and we're in a good position, but there's still a long way to go," Arnold said.

"There's still 13 games to go, The challenge is to stay where we are and to perform consistently.

"We've got the ACL that kicks in on February 27th, six, seven weeks before the (A-League) competition finishes, where we've got to do a lot of travelling into Asia as well, so it's going to be tough."

Arnold said captain John Hutchinson and forward Daniel McBreen would be back from suspension for next Sunday's away game with Western Sydney, while defender Patrick Zwaanswijk could return from a groin injury.


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