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Australian Football: Montgomery takes positives from Cup heartbreak

Central Coast Mariners coach Nick Montgomery chose to take the positives out of the FFA Cup final defeat against Melbourne Victory and says his young side is destined to have a bright future.

Central Coast are priced at 11/10 to finish in the top six of the A-League and they can now take heart from their performance against Victory and focus on that goal.

Brave performance

The Mariners were the underdogs heading into the final but matched Victory for 70 minutes until a stunning free-kick from Jason Davidson gave Tony Popovic's side the lead.

Chris Ikonomidis scored an equally stunning goal to make it 2-0 and although Oliver Bozanic pulled a goal back in stoppage time it was not enough and Victory took the silverware.

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Even so Montgomery refused to be downbeat after the final whistle and says his side have a lot to look forward to.

"There's so many positives to take out of that game and you do move forward," he said. "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."

Rowles shines

Kye Rowles was one huge positive for the Mariners and his performance resulted in him sharing the Mark Viduka Medal with Victory's Jake Brimmer.

"It's pretty clear to see that we'll fight for each other until the last whistle," Rowles added.

"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."

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