GCU out to build momentum

Returning Gold Coast United vice-captain Michael Thwaite admits his side must get back to their winning ways with finals football fast approaching, starting with Saturday night's encounter with Sydney FC at the SFS.

Returning Gold Coast United vice-captain Michael Thwaite admits his side must get back to their winning ways with finals football fast approaching, starting with Saturday night's encounter with Sydney FC at the SFS.

Thwaite missed Monday night's dour scoreless draw between United and Perth Glory due to suspension and would have felt helpless as his side failed to put a goal past a side that has shipped 38 goals this season - the most out of the entire Hyundai A-League.

But on Saturday night he will return to the heart of Gold Coast's backline and further bolster what is statistically the best defence in the league, letting through just 18 goals, against a Sydney FC side that has never beaten Miron Bleiberg's men in five meetings.

The match could prove decisive as to where each team finishes at the end of the season and Thwaite said United need to snap a three-game winless streak and start to gather pace as crunch time begins to set in.

"You need to start building momentum, especially in the last third of the season, and I think it's crucial that we do get back on the winning track," Thwaite said.

"I was devastated to miss Monday's game - I think last year I hung onto three yellows in 28 games so I was a bit disappointed but I'm back on the track now and it's do or die for Sydney."

"There's a few psychological factors - obviously they haven't beaten us yet and we need to hang onto that but especially, I think we enjoy playing at the Sydney Football Stadium. It's a good atmosphere and hopefully there'll be a good pitch."

A good pitch is something almost unfamiliar to United, given the controversy surrounding the dire state of Skilled Park's surface, and the side may benefit from not only having the chance to play their trademark passing game on a quality ground, but to play against a Sky Blues outfit that will be on the attack.

That means there will be holes at the back for Gold Coast to exploit if they are patient, but the importance of the game cannot be underestimated for the visitors, who also need the three points to stay in the battle for second place and the double chance in the finals.

Thwaite believes that whoever shows their urgency on the day will return home triumphant.

"I think the fact they're on the bottom half of the table should steel them. There's three or four teams that can be in or out of the finals, but they've still got a chance and it's pretty much D-day for them," he said.

"Playing away from home is going to be tough and I think that desperation factor is a massive bonus for most of the teams coming into the finals."