Mariners lose Macallister

The Central Coast Mariners have suffered a huge blow ahead of Sunday's A-League clash against Wellington with star striker Dylan Macallister ruled out of the Round 4 showdown.

The Central Coast Mariners have suffered a huge blow ahead of Sunday's A-League clash against Wellington with star striker Dylan Macallister ruled out of the Round 4 showdown.

Macallister is bedridden with a bad flu and did not make the trek to New Zealand with the rest of the Mariners squad.

The former Australian junior representative was considered a big chance to start against Phoenix after netting two goals off the bench when the Mariners had a last-start 4-2 win against Queensland. It was the team's first win of the season and Macallister's form in the second half was a highlight of the victory.

Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna is now almost certain to start with veteran Sasho Petrovski and Olyroo Matt Simon up front in Sunday's game.

Petrovski has also been hampered by the flu this week but has trained strongly during the past two days.

It has been a tough build up for Central Coast with Brad Porter, Mile Jedinak and Nik Mrdja also battling the flu.

Porter and Jedinak will play, while Mrdja did not make the squad.

It is a crucial game for the Mariners after an indifferent start to the season. There were good signs in the win against Roar and McKinna is desperate to make it two wins in succession.