Kosmina: There's plenty to play for

Adelaide United coach John Kosmina won't be giving favours to the Central Coast Mariners when the sides meet at Bluetongue Stadium.

Adelaide United coach John Kosmina won't be giving favours to the Central Coast Mariners when the sides meet at Bluetongue Stadium.

The Mariners sit atop the Hyundai A-League but need victories in the remaining two fixtures to thwart the advances of second-placed Brisbane Roar and assure their position as premiers.

Although his side have little to play for but pride, Kosmina said he intends to win the encounter with last season's runners-up and utilise the fixture as a warm-up for next Tuesday's clash with Gamba Osaka in the AFC Champions League.

"We want to win the game regardless of whether the Mariners can get a premiership on the end of it or not," Kosmina said.

"We want three points out of it to secure our position, and also as much as it's not important in some people's eyes, it would be nice to finish above Melbourne Victory if we can do that."

"It's not about being friendly with the Mariners, it's about us being successful as a team and also practicing for Tuesday for what we do against Gamba."

"The short-term goal is to jump Victory but our long term goal is to make it to the next round of the Asian Champions League or at least finish in the top two and get the playoff chance."

Adelaide will be boosted in their aim to topple the Mariners with the return of long-term injury absentee Jon McKain and goalkeeper captain Eugene Galekovic, who sat out last week's 1-1 draw with Brisbane as a precaution following a knock to his ankle in training.

McKain will make his first start for the Reds since former coach Rini Coolen's last game at the helm in December when the side were embarrassed 3-0 by bottom-placed Gold Coast United.

The pair will make up for the loss of vice-captain Cassio, who will not travel with the squad to Gosford in a bid to be fit for Gamba Osaka after copping some damage to his troublesome calf.

With a short turnaround to Tuesday's home fixture with Gamba Osaka, Kosmina admitted a trip interstate to face the Mariners was not ideal for his Reds.

Despite expecting a fierce encounter with the Japanese side, Kosmina is confident his side could upset their more highly fancied opponents after they endured a rough start to their J-League season.

"They had a loss in their competition last weekend, they have a new coach and maybe it's not as smooth as they'd like it to be especially with the Osaka derby this week," Kosmina said.

"Regardless though it's going to be a tough game and they are a good side in a J-League that improves incrementally season by season and is now one of the best competitions in the world from a technical viewpoint."

"Gamba have good athletes and they'll come here trying to win."

Adelaide's towering defender Antony Golec, who admitted he is playing for his future with the Reds, is looking forward to an extended run in the Champions League, but was first focused on upsetting the Mariners.

"We are looking forward to the Gamba game, but the Mariners are still a priority for us and we need to get things right ahead of Tuesday," Golec admitted.

"It's the perfect game against one of the league's best teams and we are going to look to create a big upset because they have a lot to lose."

"We won't take it lightly and do everything we can and hopefully we can use this A-League game to get it right and progress through the Champions League."