Heff doubt for Mariners

Qantas Socceroo Dean Heffernan is a doubtful starter as Central Coast battles for another home win against Hyundai A-League table-toppers Gold Coast at Gosford on Friday night.

Qantas Socceroo Dean Heffernan is a doubtful starter as Central Coast battles for another home win against Hyundai A-League table-toppers Gold Coast at Gosford on Friday night.

Heffernan has been outstanding for the Mariners throughout the season but has been battling a minor back injury since returning from national duty in Kuwait earlier this month.

He was troubled by the injury in last week's draw against Adelaide and has been on light duties at training this week.

Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna will take a close look at Heffernan at training on Thursday before making a final decision on his final starting side for the vital clash at Bluetongue Stadium.

World Cup-bound midfielder Michael McGlinchey would return to the starting side for the first time in three weeks if Heffernan is unfit.

"At this stage I'd say Heff is about a 50-50 chance of playing," McKinna said.

"We'll give him every chance. For the past two months he's been outstanding for us."

"Hopefully he'll be right."

Heffernan is the only injury drama for McKinna, who is expected to field a similar side to the one that shared the points with Adelaide last start.

"There were some very good signs last week," McKinna said.

"Hopefully we've turned the corner and can get some good results, starting with Friday night."

Gold Coast was humiliated 3-0 the last time they visited Gosford but the Queenslanders are back to their early season best now and will be full of confidence after edging out Sydney last weekend.