Mariners a work in progress

Central Coast coach Graham Arnold admits the Mariners are a 'work in progress' but is happy with the side's start to their Hyundai A-League campaign.

Central Coast coach Graham Arnold admits the Mariners are a 'work in progress' but is happy with the side's start to their Hyundai A-League campaign.

The Mariners are sitting mid-table after kicking off the season with a win, draw and defeat in the opening three rounds.

Central Coast will be chasing their second win of the season in Saturday's match against struggling Sydney at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Arnold, back in club coaching after nearly a decade with the Socceroos, believes the team is on track for a return to the finals after battling to avoid the wooden spoon last season.

"As far as I'm concerned it's been a positive start to the season," Arnold said.

"We have been guilty of giving away the ball too cheaply but we are a work in progress and are heading in the right direction."

"I've changed the style of play at the club and it's coming together."

"We'll keep getting better and better the more we play together."

Meanwhile, Arnold said the luxury of having four central strikers to pick from is beneficial to the squad.

Matt Simon, Nik Mrdja, Daniel McBreen and Adam Kwasnik are in a four-way battle for only two starting spots.

Simon played up front by himself in last week's defeat against Wellington but with recruit Patricio Perez said to play in an attacking midfield role, Arnold is expected to start with two strikers against Sydney.

"It's up to the four of them to battle it out and earn their spots, it's healthy to have competition for spots," Arnold said.