Branko braces for Mariners

Newcastle head coach Branko Culina has said the Jets 'are ready' for whatever the Central Coast throws at them in the Hyundai A-League F3 derby at Bluetongue Stadium on Friday night.

Newcastle head coach Branko Culina has said the Jets 'are ready' for whatever Central Coast throws at them in the Hyundai A-League F3 derby at Bluetongue Stadium on Friday night.

Both sides go into the second round clash after impressive wins to open the 2009/10 season, the Jets downed Wellington Phoenix 3-2 at home while the Mariners surprised everyone with a 2-0 victory over reigning champion Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.

However, Central Coast drew criticism from some quarters for employing heavy defensive tactics in its win over the Victory but Culina said his side could break down the Mariners defence.

"I thought it was a fantastic win by the Central Coast, no-one gave them much of a chance and it would have given them a lot of confidence," Culina said.

"Look, there is going to be ugly wins in this competition and I will be happy if we do likewise when we go to Melbourne. But when a coach and a club do well they tend to stick to the game plan."

"Lawrie McKinna would be saying in his mind, 'it worked against Melbourne, if we do it against Newcastle it may work again. If I take a risk and it doesn't work then I am in trouble'."

"But let him have that problem. We know what we are going to do and we are prepared for it. Whether they play high up the field in our own half we are ready."

"Again you need a little bit of luck on the day because that does play a part. But I am feeling pretty confident in what I saw on the weekend and what I am seeing at training that we can break teams down like the Central Coast, or any teams for that matter. And within three or four weeks hopefully we will be in an even better position."

Culina revealed he will again start the match against the Mariners with two strikers in an attacking formation with two-goal hero Jason Hoffman likely to partner former Mariner Sasho Petrovski up front with young strikers Jason Naidovski and Sean Rooney certain to play some part in the match from the bench.

"It is no secret we will start with 4-4-2 against the Central Coast but during the course of the game depending on how it is progressing we may change into another formation," Culina said.

"But we have got to play in the way we want the game to be played. At this point in time it suits us to play 4-4-2 but next week we may start with a totally different system."