Culina pumped for derby

Jason Culina thinks Gold Coast United's run of home games is an opportunity for his side to keep the pressure on league leaders Melbourne Victory and second-placed Sydney FC.

Jason Culina thinks Gold Coast United's run of home games is an opportunity for his side to keep the pressure on league leaders Melbourne Victory and second-placed Sydney FC.

After its 2-0 victory over Perth Glory on Sunday, Gold Coast face local rivals Brisbane Roar on Boxing Day, followed by further games on home soil against Adelaide United and in-form Newcastle Jets.

Having closed the gap on the leaders over the weekend, the Gold Coast skipper has called on his side to make the most of their home advantage over the next three rounds.

"The Boxing Day derby going to be a big game for us and we're all looking forward to it," Culina said.

"We certainly need to win to keep up the pressure on the top two and we all realise the importance of game."

"Brisbane are picking up now and have shown some good form recently. They can be very dangerous so we will have to be careful and cautious, but at the same time play our own game and let them worry about us."

"The old football saying of taking one game at a time really applies to us at the moment. We've closed the gap on the top two this week and from this point on each and every game is a very important one.

"Our away form hasn't been the best of late so to have this run of home games suits us and we have to take advantage of that."

"I think for the last three or four weeks we have been showing some good signs and our performance was good against Perth. We've played some decent football so now it's about continuing to do that and also stringing a few good results together."

Culina's midfield team-mate, the industrious Zenon Caravella,has warned there will be no holding back when United face their fiercest rivals on Boxing Day.

The former FC Omniworld workhorse says the stakes are high for Miron Bleiberg's gold-shirted troops, who will be fighting to keep their title aspirations alive, setting the scene for an electrifying clash at Skilled Park.

"No one is going to hold back and we will be going out full pelt with all guns blazing," Caravella said.

"It's the last game before the 10-day break and it's especially important for us considering where we are on the table."

With Brisbane recently finding improved form since the pair met in round 10, the central midfielder said the game will be more hotly-contested this time around, with the Roar coming off back-to-back wins and now placed fifth on the Hyundai A-League ladder.

"They've had a couple of wins recently so their confidence will be high. However in saying that, we've just come off a win as well so I think it is set to be an exciting clash between the two teams," Caravella said.

"We've got a couple of players who have played or trained with the Roar, and when you're playing against old friends or playing against your old club, you always want to do well, which will make the game that extra bit special."

"It's definitely one of the big games of the year and will be a real treat for the fans."