Nothing to prove to Arnie: Tavares
Photo Source: AAP
Mickael Tavares insists he and cousin Jacques Faty aren't angry at Graham Arnold for letting them go, but believes he can help new A-League club Central Coast exploit Sydney FC's weaknesses.
The Senegalese duo and goalkeeper Ivan Necevski will come face to face with Arnold this Saturday for the first time since being offloaded by him the end of last season.
Arnold said on Thursday there were no hard feelings about his decision, made after Tavares and Faty's form dropped well below that of their standout 2014-15 campaign.
Tavares was adamant he wasn't looking to make a statement to his former coach, but indicated he might have more to say after the match.
"I think everyone is expecting this, but I have nothing to prove," Tavares told AAP.
"Arnie knows what I can do, and I know as well.
"But it's about getting the three points; it's not about my personal performance ... it will be easier to speak after the game. Before the game, I don't want to say so much.
"We're not angry - it's football.
"This is in the past; now I'm enjoying football at the Mariners; I'm still playing and I'm lucky to be here."
Tavares admitted it would be weird to return to Allianz Stadium and play in front of fans who used to support him.
But he fired a warning to Sydney, expecting them to fall into trouble combating a Paul Okon-inspired Central Coast who sensationally snatched a 3-3 opening-round draw with Perth last weekend despite being three goals down.
"I know almost all the Sydney team so they know it's not going to be easy this weekend," Tavares said.
"It's always an advantage, because I know their strengths, but I also know their weaknesses."
The trio's return to Allianz will add spice to an already feisty fixture against a Sydney set-up featuring seven former Mariners members.
Central Coast's all-time leading goalscorer Matt Simon, who bagged a memorable brace against his former club last campaign, is joined at Sydney by former Mariners captain Alex Wilkinson, winger Bernie Ibini and goalkeeper Danny Vukovic.
In the Sky Blues' football department is ex-Mariners championship-winning coach Arnold, goalkeeping mentor John Crawley and strength and conditioning coach Andrew Clark.