Central Coast Mariners manager Nick Montgomery insisted it wasn’t disrespectful.
But he couldn’t help but worry about the retirement of Melbourne City captain Scott Jamieson.
Montgomery believes Jamieson’s announcement was ill-timed the week of the A-League men’s grand final.
“Don’t be rude, but I’m not really interested in Scott Jamison’s retirement,” Montgomery told reporters on Monday.
“For me, it’s not something to talk about going into the grand final.
“Maybe he said he would wait until after[the grand final]and then retire, but that’s not my choice.
“I don’t think anything should make the headlines this week other than two good teams, Melbourne City and the Mariners, going head-to-head in the grand final.”
Montgomery once again portrays Saturday night’s grand final in Sydney as a battle between the haves, the city and the have-nots.
“I have huge respect for Melbourne City,” he said.
“They are a great team, very good and high profile players, a big club, a big organization.
“It’s great for Australian football. We have the biggest teams in the competition and the smallest teams in the final.”
And he enjoys being the Mariners’ underdog on the field.
“People ignored us,” he said.
“At the beginning of the season we sold a lot of players… It’s easy for people to wonder if we can do what we did last season, finishing in the top six and reaching the cup final.
“But the players we invited, the new players we brought in, the Visa boys we invited, we challenged them all and put together enough teams to compete against everyone and we got to the grand finals. With the belief that we will do it” and finish high in the league.
“We haven’t finished the season yet. We left for the grand final, so we haven’t achieved anything yet.
“And you don’t go to the Grand Finals just to be in, you go to win.”
While City’s line-up boasts vast know-how in big games, Montgomery said most of the young sides have experienced high-pressure games in youth leagues and cup finals.
“It’s not just another game… but when the whistle blows it’s going to be 11-11. It’s all on the field and it’s going to be a neutral venue,” he said.
“This is the final, we know what’s at stake.
“Everybody involved in both locker rooms will be a little nervous before the game but excited at the same time, that’s normal.
“The important thing is when they are ready when they are on the pitch.
“And we will be ready for the match…The players will really enjoy the opportunity and hopefully put in a good performance.”