Gold Coast's must-win match

As Gold Coast United prepares for its last home game of the regular season, outspoken boss Miron Bleiberg is hoping that Sunday's must-win clash with Wellington won't be his side's third physical match in a row.

As Gold Coast United prepares for its last home game of the regular season, outspoken boss Miron Bleiberg is hoping that Sunday's must-win clash with Wellington won't be his side's third physical match in a row.

A win over the Phoenix is now a must for the men in yellow after Melbourne Victory's solid 2-0 win over North Queensland on Friday night put last year's champions three points ahead on the Hyundai A-league table.

It's been a turbulent week for the club with Bleiberg and millionaire club owner Clive Palmer both issued with a please explain from Football Federation Australia over comments made to the media on separate issues.

Bleiberg was asked to explain his comments regarding the five-game suspension of Steve Pantelidis, while Palmer's comments on a conspiracy theory to deny Gold Coast a home Grand Final raised more than a few eyebrows at Hyundai A-league headquarters.

But with off-field drama overshadowing the business of Round 26's penultimate match, Bleiberg was keen to draw attention back onto the pitch.

"Unfortunately we've been involved in two physical games in a row - against the Mariners and Melbourne, we passed them, not that I'm proud of it, but we held our own when in the past when we've played physical games we didn't pass the mark,” Bleiberg said.

"I think from this point of view we have improved and that will be the instruction to our guys, you go and play football and I hope that what Wellington will do the same and come and play football."

"I will be the first to concede that Wellington will be the better team if they come and play fair and square … I hope that we don't have to play three physical games in a row."

With United yet to beat Wellington this season, Ricki Herbert's men have plenty to play for with a home final on offer if they can finish ahead of Perth, which sits fourth.

But Bleiberg is optimistic that his charges can get the job done over the Kiwi side if they focus on themselves rather than what the opposition is doing.

"We have proved that we are good enough to compete with any team in the competition - except Wellington up until this week," he said.

"Hopefully after this week it will be also Wellington who will be included in this."

"I will minimise as much as possible about talking about the opposition and what they are doing, we just have to look at ourselves and that will be the attitude until the end of the season."

Without the services of Pantelidis, impressive January signing Dino Djulbic is expected to fill the void in defence while Brazilian Robson's climb back to full fitness is sure to add another dimension from the bench.

Gold Coast will go into this weekend's match knowing that it is yet to be defeated in seven matches at Skilled Park, but with Wellington's 1-0 win over Adelaide last week the home side will be fully aware of what the Phoenix are capable of producing.