GCU want return to form

Gold Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg has his eyes firmly set on his side bouncing back from their disappointing midweek loss in Newcastle in the best way possible - with a win over the Central Coast Mariners in front of what is expected to be a bumper crowd at Skilled Park on Sunday afternoon.

Gold Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg has his eyes firmly set on his side bouncing back from their disappointing midweek loss in Newcastle in the best way possible - with a win over the Central Coast Mariners in front of what is expected to be a bumper crowd at Skilled Park on Sunday afternoon.

The response to owner Clive Palmer's gesture of goodwill towards Frank Lowy and the FFA for the 2022 World Cup bid has been overwhelmingly positive, with over 20,000 punters securing their tickets for the free admission extravaganza.

But Bleiberg will have to do it without forward James Brown, who will be sidelined for up to four weeks with an ankle injury sustained in Wednesday's 2-0 loss away in Newcastle - but Joel Porter is ready to be unleashed on Sunday afternoon after a solid hit-out against the Jets in his comeback from a second hamstring strain.

Regardless of his personnel, Bleiberg is eager to send Gold Coast fans home happy with three points over the Mariners, ahead of Boxing Day's blockbuster derby against Brisbane Roar.

"We try to put in an attractive, winning performance every time we play - whether it be 1,600 people or maybe 20,000 in the stands," he said.

"It's the way we play and we believe with the push of the bigger crowd the players probably will perform better than we would without them."

"Central Coast are a good team and there's only three points between us, and a game in hand on us so that's how it is. I expect them to be strong - they want to get closer to the top two like we are."

Wednesday night's match saw United play in front of 8,000 loud Novocastrians at EnergyAustralia Stadium and Bleiberg is hoping his side can count on the vocal cords of a passionate Gold Coast crowd to get them over the line against Graham Arnold's men, who could leapfrog them into third place with a win.

"Newcastle rode on the wave of their fans- enthusiasm on Wednesday night and hopefully we can do the same against the Mariners," he said.

"The response from the community in getting their tickets for the game has been amazing and we-re all really looking forward to walking out in front of so many people."

"The more people that come to the game, the more support we will have and we can make it a day for everyone to remember."