Defence the key for Mariners

Central Coast coach Lawrie McKinna said his side has 'done plenty of work on defence' ahead of Wednesday night's Asian Champions League clash against Kawasaki at Gosford.

Central Coast coach Lawrie McKinna said his side has 'done plenty of work on defence' ahead of Wednesday night's Asian Champions League clash against Kawasaki at Gosford.

The Mariners conceded two goals from set pieces in a last-start 2-2 draw against Tianjin Teda in China last month.

The defensive lapses cost the team a first win in the Champions League.

"They're a very attacking team and like to attack in numbers," McKinna said.

"Defensively we'll have to be switched on. We've done a lot of work on defence since China, I'm confident we won't have so many problems on Wednesday night."

McKinna will send out an attacking team against Kawasaki with Adrian Caceres a confirmed starter.

Caceres came off the bench to the score the team's first ever Champions League goal in China.

He will start at left midfield with Dean Heffernan moving back to defence.

McKinna also confirmed Dylan Macallister will start up front alongside Nik Mrdja with Matt Simon out suspended.

After an outstanding start to his first season with the Mariners, Macallister has been short of confidence and needs a big performance against Kawasaki. His combination play with Mrdja will be a crucial factor for the home team.

Victory will put the Mariners on top of the group and in striking distance of a place in the competition's knockout stages.

Defeat will give the group's other teams, Tianjin and the Pohang Steelers from Korea, hope of qualifying for the next phase.

"It's not a must win but playing at home it's very important to get a result," McKinna said.

"Kawasaki is the strongest team in the group on paper but we're looking to win it."