Mariners still hold hope

Central Coast coach Lawrie McKinna remains optimistic his side can reach the finals despite managing just a draw in its match against bottom-placed Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday.

Central Coast coach Lawrie McKinna remains optimistic his side can reach the finals despite managing just a draw in its match against bottom-placed Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday.

The Mariners have now gone seven matches without a victory but are amazingly still in the hunt for a top-six spot. If the remaining Round 23 results go their way they'll only be a point by behind sixth-placed Perth Glory at the weekend's end.

McKinna said his side had shown some promising signs in its last two drawn games and held hope it could move up the ladder.

"There are probably a couple of spots up for grabs. Our boys were disappointed after the game but we came down here, deserved to win, we've hung in there and we've got something to play for over the next four weeks," he said.

"We believe we can go and get 12 points, that's what's up for grabs and the mood in the dressing room after the game was good."

"There was disappointment not getting it (the win) but we feel as though we've turned the corner. Coming to Adelaide, doesn't matter how they are doing in the league, it's a hard place to get results."

"If this was the beginning of the season everyone would be patting us on the back and saying great draw away from home."

The Mariners return to Bluetongue Stadium to tackle the Gold Coast next Friday. Their home stadium hasn't been a happy hunting ground but McKinna said it was about time his team made the most of its home ground advantage.

"Hopefully we can put in a solid 90 minutes like we did (against Adelaide) instead of putting in a good first half like we did last week (against North Queensland) and then fizzling out in the second," he said.

"We'll be going home to give the supporters something to cheer about because we've only won the one game at Bluetongue so our supporters deserve something."

McKinna said it was disappointing Central Coast couldn't make the most of its 'clear cut' chances against Adelaide United but said there were plenty of positives to take from the game.

Pedj Bojic and John Hutchison controlled proceedings, especially in the first half, while Nik Mrdja's presence around goal was also important. McKinna said Mrdja had got 'on top of his game' in the last three weeks.

"I thought he'd scored an early goal, (Eugene) Galekovic didn't even know anything about it (his 12th minute strike). We were up, we thought it was going, it was rolling in near the far post but when things aren't going your way ... for other teams that would've rolled into the back of the net," he said.

"Nik is doing well. He's strong, he's competing, he's bringing other people into the game. He could've been a hero with that volley that went over the bar (in the 87th minute)."