Mariners primed for Victory clash

Central Coast midfielder Bradley Porter believes this weekend's top-of-the-table clash with Melbourne Victory will go along way to shaping the Mariners' season.

Central Coast midfielder Bradley Porter believes this weekend's top-of-the-table clash with Melbourne Victory will go along way to shaping the Mariners' season.

Drawn to play the top two Hyundai A-League sides in consecutive weeks, the defending premiers defeated Adelaide United 3-0 last Saturday night, but Porter knows that it will count for nothing if his side loses to Melbourne this week.

"It's an awesome result, we knew going into these two games against Adelaide and Melbourne that it's really gonna shape our season. So far we've got half of the six points that we want out of the two games and hopefully we can go to Melbourne and build on that," Porter said.

"You know what you're gonna get from them, they've got attacking quality right across the park, I think they've got a full squad back now, you know (Archie) Thompson's back, Ney Fabiano's back so they've got a formidable team, attacking midfielders and pace all over the place so we're gonna have to be on our game."

"We kept a clean sheet against Adelaide, which is a confidence booster for the back four and hopefully we can get another one."

Porter is expecting a massive crowd at Telstra Dome on Friday night, but insisted that he and his team-mates won't be overawed by the occasion.

"No.1 v No.2, top-of-the-table clash down there (in Melbourne), biggest crowds in the league, there should be a massive crowd and the atmosphere is gonna be big, Friday night so everyone will be watching, and without doubt these are the games that really get you going," he said.

Central Coast finished on top of the Hyundai A-League ladder last year, but consistency has been a problem so far this season with the Mariners yet to record back-to-back wins this year.

Porter believes now is the time for them to get on a run and get back on top of the ladder.

"This is the time of the year now where we need to go on a bit of a run, we've been pretty happy where we've gone to this point but I guess our problem has been consistency, we haven't been able to put back-to-back wins or go on a run of three or four games unbeaten so hopefully we can do that now," he said.

After playing just 21 matches in all competitions in two full seasons with his hometown club, the 21-year-old has been a revelation this season, featuring in all 11 matches and starting in 10 of them.

Porter hasn't scored in the season proper, but last Saturday his lethal left foot provided the three corners that led to the goals against Adelaide and he couldn't be happier with the way things have been going for him this season.

"I've been delighted just to be playing regular first-team football ... The last couple of seasons a little frustrating not being able to play regularly, that's the good thing now about the National Youth League the guys that aren't playing are still getting the 90 minutes and able to press for a spot, but it couldn't be going any better from a personal point," he said.