Mariners happy at home

Central Coast coach Lawrie McKinna hopes a return home will give the hot-and-cold Mariners a lift and the much-needed three competition points on Saturday night.

Central Coast coach Lawrie McKinna hopes a return home will give the hot-and-cold Mariners a lift and the much-needed three competition points on Saturday night.

The Mariners are clinging to fourth place in the Hyundai A-League and are desperate for a win when Queensland Roar visit Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford.

Defeat could see McKinna's men slip out of the top four, while a win would mean the Mariners will leapfrog Roar and head into next week's clash with Sydney FC full of confidence.

McKinna knows there is a lot on the line on Saturday night but is confident his side can reproduce the good form that has seen it storm home in the second half of recent matches to snatch draws.

Last week the Mariners came from behind to secure a 2-2 draw with Perth at Members Equity Stadium.

"It's great to come back and show fighting spirit but to be honest, last week felt like a loss," McKinna said.

"The players were disappointed with the performance. This is a crucial game for us. We're back at home and we'll be chasing a win. The competition is so tight at the moment you can drop several places with a loss."

"We're very determined to win. We have to make sure we stop putting pressure on ourselves to score late goals."

Saturday's match is the first of two big home games for the Mariners. Next week arch-rivals Sydney visit Gosford.

"Two big performances can set up our run to the finals," McKinna said.

Central defender Nigel Boogaard is out after being slapped with a two-match ban, with Pedj Bojic to partner captain Alex Wilkinson in the centre of defence. Bojic returns to the line-up after missing last week's trip to Perth on suspension.