Bas sets sights on Mariners

Dutchman Bas van den Brink is hoping former teammate and countryman Patrick Zwaanswijk has a torrid time when the two play each other in Sunday afternoon's match between Gold Coast United and the Central Coast Mariners.

Dutchman Bas van den Brink is hoping former teammate and countryman Patrick Zwaanswijk has a torrid time when the two play each other in Sunday afternoon's match between Gold Coast United and the Central Coast Mariners.

Van den Brink and Zwaanswijk played together in the Netherlands at FC Utrecht and knows all too well the dangers the defender can pose to United's strikeforce, which is starting to show signs of the potency it has long promised after last Friday's 3-1 win over Sydney FC.

At the heart of a Mariners defence that has leaked just 10 goals all season, van den Brink wants Zwaanswijk-s run of form to come to an end at the hands of Gold Coast United.

"He's a very decent player as everybody can see and he's one of the key players right now at Central Coast. Hopefully he has a bad day," he said.

“I'm hoping they will be a bit fatigued but you never know with the Mariners because they're always physical, so they'll probably pump themselves up for the game. We have to be at our best to beat them.”

A fixture of United's side in their inaugural season last year, van den Brink has found himself in and out of the Gold Coast line-up until finding his niche in a defensive midfield role in which he has starred.

He will need to fire again on Sunday if United are to continue their ascent up the Hyundai A-League table, as the Mariners will want to send their fans home content in their first match at Bluetongue Stadium since October 2.

It hasn't been a happy hunting ground for United - in their two trips to Gosford last season, Gold Coast only managed to bring a solitary point back to Queensland.

"Hopefully the difference this time will be that we grab three points - that would be nice and I don't care how we get it as long as we get it," van den Brink said.

"Central Coast are a bit similar to us - they are a tough side to beat and they've shown that so it's going to be hard. Sometimes we play similar football so I do wonder how the game is going to go on the weekend. They're always pretty physical and we have to be prepared for them."

Sunday-s match is the first of a tough two weeks for the title aspirants and they will face two of the three sides above them on the ladder - first the Mariners, and then a hostile Hindmarsh Stadium crowd will be waiting for them come next Friday when they face off against Adelaide United.

"It's definitely a big fortnight,” van den Brink said. “We have to grab some points and they're going to be tough games and if we don't win or we lose the games it's going to be a massive disappointment for us and a big drop back, so it's really important for us to take as many as we can."