Central Coast coach Lawrie McKinna will delay finalising his starting side for Saturday night’s Hyundai A-League blockbuster against Sydney FC as long as possible.
Fitness clouds are still hanging over several key players ahead of the Sydney Football Stadium showdown.
Star midfielder Mile Jedinak missed last week’s gusty win over arch rivals Newcastle with a groin strain.
But the in-form Socceroo is a big chance to return against Sydney. His inclusion will be an enormous boost for the fourth-placed Mariners.
But defenders Nigel Boogaard and Andrew Clark are both in extreme doubt. Boogaard and Clark both missed last week’s win after being injured against Wellington.
Clark has not trained after dislocating a shoulder, while Boogaard is still suffering headaches after he was concussed against Phoenix.
“I’m pretty hopeful about Mile taking his place in the side but we won’t know about the other two until later in the week,” McKinna said.
It is a crucial match for the Mariners. After a below-par performance against Wellington, the Central Coast team turned in one of its best performances of the season to down the Jets.
A similar effort will be needed if the Mariners are to beat Sydney.
Sydney will be full of confidence after a last-start away win against Melbourne.