Absent Mariners an issue

Central Coast has a huge task on its hands to end a four-game losing streak with three key players out of the New Years Eve contest against Wellington at Gosford.

Central Coast has a huge task on its hands to end a four-game losing streak with three key players out of the New Years Eve contest against Wellington at Gosford.

In-form goalkeeper Danny Vukovic got a Socceroo call-up last week and will miss his first A-League match of the season, while Adelaide-bound defender Nigel Boogaard is suspended for the Bluetongue Stadium clash.

Coach Lawrie McKinna has another major selection drama with left-sided defender Dean Heffernan also out after national coach Pim Verbeek gave him a late call up to the Australian team.

While still sometime away from naming his final side McKinna is considering several different options.

The Mariners have been outstanding in defence this season but will be put to the test without three key back men.

Central Coast has slipped to seventh place and desperately needs a win at Gosford.

"There'll be forced changes," McKinna said.

"It's a massive game for us but I'm confident we can get the job done. One win will turn things around for us."

"If we get a good result against Wellington things will look a lot better. "

"Hopefully we get a big crowd and turn in a good performance."

Andrew Clark, Pedj Bojic and Matthew Lewis are in the frame for a start against Wellington, while central defender Chris Doig is also close to a return from injury.

Doig has not played for several weeks, but has been training strongly and could be a chance to play against Wellington.