Postecoglou prepares for must-win Mariners match

Brisbane Roar Head Coach Ange Postecoglou will use this weekend’s clash against table-topping Central Coast Mariners to revive his side’s championship credentials with the business end of the season inching closer and closer.

Brisbane Roar Head Coach Ange Postecoglou will use this weekend-s clash against table-topping Central Coast Mariners to revive his side-s championship credentials with the business end of the season inching closer and closer.

Conceding the likelihood of retaining the Hyundai A-League Premiers- Plate - the club-s first piece of silverware - was slim given the 11 point gap between them on the competition ladder, Postecoglou was aiming to secure the mental edge when the two sides do battle at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday.

The last time the Roar and Central Coast went head to head was less than seven weeks ago, a crunching duel that saw Graham Arnold-s men take home the three points in a 2-1 victory - the first time the Gosford-based club had beaten Brisbane since October 2009.

“We-ve had some really good games (against them), even the last game here at Suncorp was a cracking game and they beat us for the first time in a while so I-m sure they-ll be looking to knock us over again,” the former South Melbourne man said.

“It-s a good opportunity for us to send a message that we-re still there and there abouts.

“I-ve said a few times that the key to playing well in finals is to have good form leading into it and you can always cast doubts over the opposition if you knock them over in the running.”

Recent results won-t favour Postecoglou-s side leading into the fixture, having won just once in their past five outings while Central Coast have not tasted defeat since the F3 derby loss in round three.

But with newly second-placed Wellington Phoenix next on the agenda following the Mariners match-up, the Brisbane mentor knows that now is the time for his players to prove they-re up for the challenge leading into the Hyundai A-League finals series, which kicks off in the last weekend of March.

“It-s been a tough little grind lately but a couple of good results on the road and things will be looking bright ahead so that-s our aim over the next fortnight,” he said.

“We play a couple of teams that are around us in the next couple of weeks and we can certainly make an impression on them.

“It-s our last game against the Mariners before the finals and we-ve got to concentrate on our own form but certainly, it-s the kind of thing when you-re going into a finals series I-m sure people will bring it up if we can knock them off in Gosford for sure.”