Mariners aiming for A-League's top four

Dec 2, 2017 - 6:13 AM Coach Paul Okon has backed Central Coast to do the job against travel-weary Perth but is on the defensive lookout for Mitch Nichols and Andy Keogh, should the touch-and-go skipper play.

The Mariners host the Glory on Sunday in the knowledge victory would lift them into the A-League's top four and generate valuable momentum heading into a busy summer.

Both clocked convincing away wins last weekend and Kenny Lowe's fifth-placed side will be equally motivated to consolidate their position.

Yet five of Perth's first eight matches have been long-haul trips east, with a round-three 2-1 win over Central Coast one of only three home fixtures to date.

"We want to get those points back and get another win," Okon said.

"They were missing some players and were up against Melbourne City who have done magnificently well, so for them it was a great result.

"They've had some long trips - I think this is now their third away game in a row.

"We're under no illusions, we know Perth is capable of getting results on the road ... but we're at home and have a lot to play for."

Injury-hit Perth are again without Diego Castro (calf) and Adam Taggart (hamstring), but Okon remained wary of playmaker Nichols and perennial threat Keogh.

The latter is no guarantee of a game after sustaining nerve damage in his groin during last week's 3-1 result against City, but will be given until kick-off to prove his fitness.

"If you're missing a player of Castro's quality it's always going to hurt you," Okon said.

"But they've been missing him for a couple of weeks now and they got a good result last week.

"We know with Keogh up front, and Mitch Nichols has come into some good form, those two are the players Kenny will be relying on and looking to lead the line.

"We just have to make sure defensively we can match up to them."

On the evidence of their last-out 4-1 walkover in Wellington, the Mariners appear well equipped.

Danny De Silva and Andrew Hoole netted their second goals of the season and Okon challenged others to contribute on the scoreboard.

"We've been promising a result like that for a number of weeks now," Okon said.

"It all came together on Saturday which was pleasing, but we need to continue doing that.

"For us it's not important who scores the goals.

"We expect players in our frontline to get from eight to 10 goals ... (but) everyone has to chip in."

Source: AAP

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