Mariners have self belief

Central Coast captain Alex Wilkinson said there is a 'real belief' in the squad after such a positive start to its first Asian Champions League campaign.

Central Coast captain Alex Wilkinson said there is a 'real belief' in the squad after such a positive start to its first Asian Champions League campaign.

Despite a shocking end to the club's A-League season, the Mariners are unbeaten in two Champions League matches, drawing at home against Pohang and in China against Tianjin Teda.

Wilkinson said the results have given the entire squad a big lift ahead of the team's crucial match against Kawasaki on April 8 at Gosford.

"A lot of people were probably not giving us much hope after how our A-League season finished but we always knew we had the squad to do well in Asia," said Wilkinson, who has been outstanding in defence.

"The Champions League is tough. There's a lot of travel and the teams are very strong but it's a great experience. It really opens your eyes as to how things are done in difference countries."

"We've only had two matches but I think we've proved we can match it with these teams."

Wilkinson said training has been good, despite several players suffering the flu.

"A few of the boys have been a bit sick but it's nothing too serious," he said.

"We've still got plenty of time till our next match so we'll be fine. Our focus now is training hard and getting ready for Kawasaki. If we win that we'll be a massive step closer to advancing to the knockout stages."

Kawasaki had a scoreless draw against the Pohang Steelers in its last Champions League match, a result which gives Wilkinson plenty of confidence.

The Mariners had a scoreless draw with the Steelers at home but created enough chances to win the match.

"Both teams we've played so far I'm confident we can beat next time," Wilkinson said.