Boogaard expects tough derby

In-form Central Coast defender Nigel Boogaard is expecting a typically tough derby affair when the Mariners battle for two Hyundai A-League wins on the trot against Newcastle on Friday night.

In-form Central Coast defender Nigel Boogaard is expecting a typically tough derby affair when the Mariners battle for two Hyundai A-League wins on the trot against Newcastle on Friday night.

Boogaard has been Central Coast's most consistent performer this year and will be out to continue his outstanding form when the Mariners and Jets clash at EngeryAustralia Stadium.

It is a vital match for both teams. The Mariners are in fifth place and could climb two or three places with a victory.

The Jets are in equal last place and desperately need three points in front of their own fans to keep their finals hopes alive.

"They're under pressure but they'll be fired up for this one," said Boogaard, who is from Newcastle.

"I'm sure they would be disappointed with the season so far but they've got plenty of good players. These games are always tough, I don't think this will be any different."

After several seasons plagued by injury and illness, Boogaard has enjoyed a tremendous start to the campaign.

He played in the heart of defence when Chris Doig was injured and when Doig returned Boogaard switched to the right side of defence where his form has been just as impressive.

"I'm my harshest critic but overall I'm pretty happy with my form," he said.

"There's always things to work on, I always want to do better but so far it's been a good start to the season."

Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna showed faith in Boogaard when he was struggling to get on the field in the first two seasons of the Hyundai A-League and he is glad he stuck by the youngster.

"He has been our most consistent player," McKinna said.

"He was outstanding in the centre of defence and has been outstanding on the right."

Boogaard attributes a lot of his success to his partnership with captain Alex Wilkinson and the influence of Doig, a former English Premier League player with Nottingham Forest, who joined the club in the off-season.