Miron: Prove your worth

Gold Coast United boss Miron Bleiberg has sent a stern message to his players - prove your worth or face the chopping block.

Gold Coast United boss Miron Bleiberg has sent a stern message to his players - prove your worth or face the chopping block.

As the wheeling and dealing on the transfer market prepares to kick into overdrive with the January window, Bleiberg said that careers will be on the line if the club can't correct their disappointing season.

With Sunday's match against Wellington Phoenix a must-win if they want to finally lift themselves from the bottom of the ladder, the former Israeli navy captain said his men must earn their keep to stay at the club.

Several key Gold Coast players come off-contract at the end of the season, including young gun James Brown, born-again defender Kristian Rees and captain Michael Thwaite.

"They're fighting for their future," Bleiberg said.

"It's as simple as that - including the imports, and they know it. I play with it (to my advantage), so you can see some of them play out of their skin."

"For me, everybody in every game has to prove that they're worth playing in the first XI and that they deserve a better contract next year."

The remainder of the season will also dictate the way Bleiberg approaches the task of strengthening his squad for the 2012/13 campaign.

Gold Coast turned their playing list upside down after losing a host of experienced players in the most recent off-season, with Jason Culina, Bruce Djite, Zenon Caravella, Dino Djulbic, Steve Pantelidis and Shane Smeltz all departing the club.

The United coach has done an extraordinary job in replacing those names with a mixture of exciting youngsters, the senior players that remained and a spattering of overseas talent.

But Bleiberg could be forgiven for not wanting to be forced into putting his recruitment muscle to the test a second time, given the difficulty of the task.

He said he would be under no obligations to be handing out contracts if his side can't salvage at least a finals appearance from their season so far.

"It's a Catch 22. From one side, that logic is 100 per cent but from the other side, if we finish last why should I hang onto this bunch of players?" he said. "It will be a juggling act."

Given his further comments, it's fair to say that juggling act has already begun - and he said they wouldn't be bullied at the transfer table.

It is believed the club is on the hunt for a creative attacking player to compliment their midfield, which is currently manned by Dutch anchor Paul Beekmans and Ivorian-born hardman Jonas Salley. The latter has attracted interest from a Saudi Arabian club and the former comes off-contract at the end of the season.

"We have some players that we've discussed about bringing in, and we have some players that we've discussed about letting go," he said.

"We have some players we know that other clubs want, and we want them to stay. Some battles you win, some you lose."

"We won't go into a bidding war over the players we want. We will set our price and if they want to come, they will come."

He also said there was no truth to the theory that the club deals out one-year contracts only, with around '7 or 8' players signed on for next season.

Some others, like Thwaite, are approaching the end of their previous three-year agreements and they could be offered extensions longer than just the one year.

"They finished their three years, so they come to negotiation. There is no one-year policy, I don't know why people bring it up," Bleiberg said.

"A lot of players sign up for one year because we're not convinced."