Doubts over Doig

For the second week in a row Central Coast Mariners defender Chris Doig faces a race against time to make his second appearance in the Hyundai A-League.

For the second week in a row Central Coast Mariners defender Chris Doig faces a race against time to make his second appearance in the Hyundai A-League.

The central defender was a late withdrawal from the Mariners 1-1 draw with the Newcastle Jets last week after picking up a calf injury in Central Coast's Round 1 victory against Melbourne.

Doig is again facing a fitness test ahead of the club's crucial Round 3 showdown against Sydney at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford on Saturday.

While desperate for one of his star recruits to play, Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna will not take any risks with Doig.

"I want him to play and he wants to play but I don't want a pretty minor injury to turn into something a lot more serious," McKinna said.

"Chris is very professional and has done everything he can in rehab to be right."

"We're hoping he trains on Thursday and if he gets through that OK he'll be in the squad."

"If there's any doubts we'll leave it another week."

Nigel Boogaard played alongside captain Alex Wilkinson in central defence against the Jets last week and did a sound job.

Boogaard scored Central Coast's goal in the second half and will again play in the middle if Doig does not start.

Apart from Doig the Mariners have a full squad to pick from with all players getting through the Newcastle match without injury.

McKinna is confident his team has the form on the board to end Sydney's unbeaten start to the season in front of what is expected to be a big crowd for a rare Saturday afternoon match in Gosford.