Mariners focused on finals

Central Coast skipper Alex Wilkinson says there is no danger the club's looming Asian Champions League campaign will derail the Mariners' bid for a breakthrough Hyundai A-League title.

Central Coast skipper Alex Wilkinson says there is no danger the club's looming Asian Champions League campaign will derail the Mariners' bid for a breakthrough Hyundai A-League title.

The Mariners head into Friday night's first leg minor semi-final against Queensland desperate to arrest a late-season slide that threatens to end any hope of a third grand final appearance in four seasons.

Lawrie McKinna's men have dropped their last three matches but Wilkinson insists the players' minds are firmly on the present and not the future as they prepare to host the Roar at Bluetongue Stadium.

"Now that the Champions League is getting close all the boys are realising it's happening and it's exciting times," Wilkinson told Sportal.

"We're really looking forward to it but at the moment we're switched on for the finals."

"We know that if we're not at the top of our game we will be out in two weeks."

"Once the season ends then it will be full steam ahead for the Champions League."

The Mariners have played in two grand finals, coming up empty on both occasions.

They are favoured to be first team knocked out of this year's title race - the Coast's recent run of outs and Queensland's hold over it at Gosford contributing to the pessimism.

The Roar are yet to lose in six visits to Gosford and are the only club the Mariners haven't beaten at home.

"We don-t really think about it too much but they've obviously had some good results at our ground," Wilkinson said.

"We've got to be mindful that they like playing there but we're confident we can get a good result and take the tie up to Queensland full of confidence and get through."

"It's going to be a fairly tough game and we're under no illusions but I think we're good enough to get through."

"It would be great to get to a grand final and finally win one."