Mariners to keep it simple

Relieved Central Coast coach Graham Arnold will keep things as normal as possible this week as the Mariners prepare to take on Brisbane in the club's third grand final in six seasons next Sunday.

Relieved Central Coast coach Graham Arnold will keep things as normal as possible this week as the Mariners prepare to take on Brisbane in the club's third grand final in six seasons next Sunday.

The Mariners booked their place in next weekend's season showpiece after striker Adam Kwasnik netted in the 75th minute to propel the Mariners to a 1-0 victory against a gallant Gold Coast United at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford.

Arnold had nothing but praise for his team after many had the Mariners as wooden-spoon candidates before a ball was kicked this season.

"I'm blown away," a delighted Arnold said.

"Over the 90 minutes I think we deserved to win it. We were a bit sloppy at times but we got the job done."

"There has been a belief in this squad all season, the atmosphere in the group is first class."

"At the start of the year we were tipped to finish ninth; we have the belief we can compete with Brisbane."

Mariners captain Alex Wilkinson has played in the club's previous grand final defeats against Sydney and Newcastle and hopes it is third time lucky at Suncorp Stadium.

"Tonight was a great effort from the boys," Wilkinson said.

"I thought it might have been one of those nights but credit to Kwas (Kwasnik), it was a great finish."

Gold Coast coach Miron Bleiberg was gracious in defeat.

"We should be proud," he said.

"We're good losers, we accept it, and I've got no complaints tonight. It hurts us but congratulations to the Mariners."

"In my book it was a very even game."