Kalifa Cisse has urged his Central Coast teammates to put on a show when the Mariners welcome Melbourne City to Gosford this Saturday evening.
It has been a lean few seasons for the Central Coast faithful but the 34-year-old is relishing the opportunity to set the record straight in the club’s maiden home fixture of the new campaign.
Cisse said all eyes are on the visit of Warren Joyce’s side this weekend amid ongoing negotiations with trialist Usain Bolt.
“We need to perform well and make them want to come and see us and support us,” he said.
“Maybe a lot of people wanted to see him [Bolt] but the proper football fans will come out to the stadium to support the team and not one player.
“What’s important to me is we’ve got a good group of players, very competitive team in terms of what we are trying to achieve. I don’t think that’s going to affect us.”
Mali international Cisse made his Hyundai A-League debut in last Sunday’s 1-1 stalemate with Brisbane Roar.
There were encouraging signs for Mike Mulvey’s men in their Queensland season opener but the arrival of City – who emerged 2-1 winners in Round 1’s Melbourne Derby – looms as a significant early test for the new-look Mariners outfit.
“[It’s] another big game, that’s why we are very, very focused on this game and we will not let anything outside of this distract us,” he continued.
“It’s not a distraction for the players because we all came this morning to training and no one’s been asking any questions. It’s more of a distraction for you than for us!
“Everyone came to training today with a smile and looking forward to Saturday’s game.”