Mrdja fit and firing

For so long striker Nik Mrdja has been unable to deliver on his enormous potential for the Central Coast Mariners.

For so long striker Nik Mrdja has been unable to deliver on his enormous potential for the Central Coast Mariners.

His long battle with serious injury has prevented the former Qantas Socceroo from living up to his reputation as one of the best strikers in the country.

Finally things are turning in his favour and Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna hopes Mrdja will be the x-factor Central Coast so badly needs when the club continues its fight to reach the Hyundai A-League finals against last-placed Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night.

Mrdja has been unable to cement a regular place in the Mariners squad this season but has still netted four goals, including Central Coast's only goal in a home draw against North Queensland last week. That draw ended a run of five defeats for the Mariners.

McKinna desperately needs the off contract front man to again find the back of the net against Adelaide.

A victory would see the Mariners return to the top six.

"Nik was outstanding last week," McKinna said.

"I think it was just about the best he's ever played for the club. It wasn't just the goal, he held the ball up well and did a lot of work off the ball, he was excellent."

Mrdja boasts one of the most lethal left foot shots in the competition and is starting to form a good partnership with Matt Simon.

Simon is the club's leading scorer with six goals this campaign but has not been at his best in recent weeks.

If both Mrdja and Simon can fire on Friday night then the Mariners will be tough to beat.