Arnold believes in players

Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold believes his side has what it takes to snare a crucial top-two spot heading into the final third of the Hyundai A-League season after a strong 2-0 home win over Adelaide United on the weekend.

Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold believes his side has what it takes to snare a crucial top-two spot heading into the final third of the Hyundai A-League season after a strong 2-0 home win over Adelaide United on the weekend.

The Mariners controlled most of the match in the second half scoring twice to move to within a point of the Reds in second place. With at least two games in hand over the two teams in front of them, Arnold believes the Central Coast side can finish near the top at the end of the season.

''I do. We work hard and these boys work hard and I want them to believe that as well.'' Arnold said after the win over Adelaide.

''Sometimes letting them chase that goal as well can be hard work but when you have a structure in place like we do and good discipline off the field, the players know what their jobs are as soon as they go on to the field.''

''And you've always got to challenge your players. We are only one point behind them with two games in hand and we have another three games at home over Christmas and the New Year so let's go for it.''

Arnold lauded his entire squad but in particular praised the back four, saying they were one of the most impressive defences of the league.

''I work with these boys and every week they turn up to every training session ready to train, they turn up to every game ready to play and you know you are going to get 100 per cent out of them every game so you can get down to the final details,'' he said.

''I don't know how many clean sheets that is this year but we have only conceded 20 goals and have had 10 or 11 clean sheets. That is superb. That is what you build your foundations on, the back four and the defence and they have been superb.''

With the Mariners now two from two at home over the past two weeks and with three consecutive home games to come, Arnold was asked whether his side could make it five from five at Bluetongue Stadium, starting with the Victory, followed by Phoenix and league leaders Brisbane Roar.

''Why not?'' he said. ''We have a tough one on the Friday night against the Melbourne Victory but why not?''

''Chris Doig has been going very well but we had to leave him out because (John) Hutchinson is back fit so we have a few players with some depth so let's go for it.''