‘Game on’ in Gosford tonight

Central Coast Mariners boss Paul Okon believes his side can again trouble Perth Glory whose boss Kenny Lowe would be happy to win “7-6” when the two sides open Hyundai A-League Round 8 in Gosford tonight.

Central Coast launched a stunning comeback in Perth when they came from three goals down to earn a 3-3 draw against Glory on the opening weekend of the season in October.

Hyundai A-League preview: Mariners v Glory

Sitting in ninth on six points and with four points from their last three starts, Okon is convinced his side are on the right track. 

“Our playing style is evolving, it’s getting better, we’d just like to have a few more wins but again I think everyone can see that when they play the Mariners now it’s game on,” Okon told reporters on Wednesday.

“We’ve been in every game so far this season and we want that to continue.

Jets midfielder Andrew Hoole takes a freekick against the Mariners on Sunday.

“Obviously we have a way of football that we want to play and continue playing and ultimately we hope that that will lead us to more wins.”

And on paper this could rain goals.  

Glory are the league’s second highest scorers with 15 goals but they have conceded 14 (the equal worst in the league), while the Mariners have shipped 13. 

“One thing you can say about us is that we’re entertaining,” Glory coach Kenny Lowe told the West Australian newspaper this week. 

“As long as we score one more goal than these guys this week, if it’s 7-6 or 9-8, I’m not bothered.”

An anomaly in this season’s draw means the Mariners will play just their second home match of the 2016/17 Season in Gosford when they entertain Kenny Lowe’s side.

Spurred on by the support of their travelling fans in last weekend’s F3 Derby, Okon is hopeful there will be another sea of yellow at Central Coast Stadium tonight.

“When the players came out and saw all of our supporters, travelling supporters in yellow jerseys, it does have an effect because in your mind it tells you that the people who are there have travelled to watch you play and you feel just that extra bit of motivation,” said Okon.

#F3Derby - Central Coast Mariners are on the hunt for back-to-back wins away from home in the Hyundai A-League for the first time since April 2013.

“You want to give something to them and that’s what we want at our home games.

“So far this season, the game against the Roar, we had good support and we hope tomorrow night is the same.”

The Mariners will have to overcome a four-day turnaround  but Okon was confident his side have pinpointed ways to get past the league’s equal worst defence.

“They know how to win football games so it’s a tough game but there’s no easy games in the A-League, especially after a four-day turnaround,” said Okon.

“We’re aware of their threats, but we see areas where we can hurt them.

Andy Keogh celebrates one of his two goals against the Reds on Friday night.

“Whether or not we can expose them and actually do that is something we’ll find out tomorrow [Thursday] night.”

In team news, Mariners’ Liam Rose has a one-match ban for a red card in Sunday’s draw with Newcastle with Harry Ascroft tipped to start in his place.