Miron's men with the momentum

Gold Coast United boss Miron Bleiberg believes both his side and their preliminary final opponent, Central Coast Mariners, are guilty of taking their off the ball and looking straight ahead to next week's grand final in Brisbane.

Gold Coast United boss Miron Bleiberg believes both his side and their preliminary final opponent, Central Coast Mariners, are guilty of taking their off the ball and looking straight ahead to next week's grand final in Brisbane.

The talk all week has been either about the Mariners' 'psychological win' over the Roar in last weekend's major semi-final loss, or about United's dream of an all-Queensland Grand Final at Suncorp Stadium - and the colourful United coach says neither side has spoken much about the game that must be won to get there.

But ahead of Saturday night's preliminary final at Bluetongue Stadium, he did declare his Glitter Strip club hold the advantage in coming into the match off the back of two cracking finals wins - rather than just a moral victory, like Graham Arnold's men.

"We're coming in after two wins - not psychological wins, two real wins. Everybody knows that momentum counts and we have it and the confidence," he said.

"Graham Arnold said that he won the psychological war against the Roar - that means he thinks he will meet them again, but what about the Gold Coast?"

"We're the same. We're talking about an all-Queensland Grand Final and how beautiful it would be, which means that we partly ignored that we have to pass the hurdle of the Mariners."

"I think both clubs shouldn't be blamed for it because both camps are in intense competition and neither want to entertain the belief that they might not make it, so we try to ignore the present and look to the future. It's simple sports psychology."

Bleiberg is set to again take advantage of a hole in the opposition's rearguard, just two weeks after exploiting the absence of Matthew Kemp and an injury to Surat Sukha midway through United's elimination final win over Melbourne Victory.

Mariners fullback Pedj Bojic is sidelined through suspension and with the return of Ivorian flyer Adama Traore, Bleiberg is keen on pummeling that left-hand side where Mariners youngster Trent Sainsbury is tipped to start.

"It might be a coincidence that Adama plays on the left and Pedj Bojic plays as a defender on the right side, so it's a double whammy from a Gold Coast United point of view," Bleiberg smiled.

"I would like to be confident but by the same token I am a bit nervous because there is a lot at stake. If we win it would be a successful culmination of two years of hard work since the inception of this club."

"God forbid if we don't win, but we will still be proud of what we have achieved. From my point of view we're in a win-win situation and I don't care what anyone else thinks, we are going in the right direction."