Doig keen to impress

After a frustrating five-week spell on the sidelines star Central Coast Mariners recruit Chris Doig is keen to make up for lost time.

After a frustrating five-week spell on the sidelines star Central Coast Mariners recruit Chris Doig is keen to make up for lost time.

Doig will play only his third Hyundai A-League match of the season when the Mariners tackle Wellington in New Zealand on Sunday.

He started the season in fine fashion, combining well with skipper Alex Wilkinson in central defence in a Round 1 win over Melbourne.

But the former English Premier League player limped off late in that match with a calf injury and missed the next five matches.

He made a strong return in the Mariners' 3-0 victory against Gold Coast last week and is looking forward to making another big contribution in New Zealand.

"It was very frustrating missing so many games after going through the pre-season," said Doig, who was signed to stiffen up Central Coast's defence.

"To be honest I didn't think the injury was too serious, I was hoping to play the following week."

"I had a couple of setbacks and needed to do a lot of strength work. Now it's fine I'm looking forward to playing a lot of games."

While he was lacking match fitness, Doig showed all his experience against a classy Gold Coast attack last week and will be much better for the run.

Doig said it was vital his team backed up last week's strong performance with another up-tempo effort. `"We need to back it up with a good performance," he said.

"Consistency is important. Good teams perform well week in, week out. That's what we need to do."

Meanwhile, defensive midfielder Matthew Crowell could make his Hyundai A-League debut for the Mariners against Wellington.

Crowell had an impressive trial with the Mariners in the pre-season but had to return to the UK to complete contract commitments with Altrincham.

"He gets on well with the lads and has a bit of a presence about him so we're looking forward to seeing how he goes," coach Lawrie McKinna said.

Striker Adam Kwasnik is also in line for a return to the starting line-up to face his former club.

Kwasnik played a full game in the National Youth League last weekend and impressed with a goal to put himself in contention for a recall.

"It was good to get 90 minutes under my belt," said Kwasnik.

"Obviously it was disappointing not to be in the first team but that-s the way football is. The squad is really competitive at the moment, and I have got to force my way back into the first team squad somehow."

"The boys are doing well at the moment with a great result on Saturday night against the Gold Coast, so it will be interesting to see what happens this week."

Kwasnik knows how tough the trip across the Tasman can be, and despite coming up against former team-mates, he won't be worried about the opposition.

"Going over there has always been tough, even back in the New Zealand Knights days when you traveled to Auckland. They have a decent set of fans there, they-ve got a good solid squad, and they can do a job on any team in the league on their day," he said.

"We've just got to go over there and worry about ourselves, and I'm quietly confident we can go over there and get three points."

"They've strung some pretty good performances together over the last few weeks but as I said we just have to worry about ourselves.”