Mrdja's best lies ahead

He's experienced more lows than arguably any other player in the short history of the Hyundai A-League - but in-form Central Coast Mariners striker Nik Mrdja is confident his luck has now turned as he fights for his football life.

He's experienced more lows than arguably any other player in the short history of the Hyundai A-League - but in-form Central Coast Mariners striker Nik Mrdja is confident his luck has now turned as he fights for his football life.

Two bouts of surgery to repair a 12mm hole in the back of his right knee cap restricted the off-contract 31-year-old to a meagre 25 appearances his first four campaigns with the club.

It hasn't been easy this season either with six of his 15 appearances coming off the bench as he has struggled to cement a regular spot in Lawrie McKinna's line-up.

But while there's been very little for the Mariners to smile about in recent weeks as they tumbled from third to seventh on the ladder, Mrdja's form has been a revelation.

For the first time in five seasons at the Mariners the former Socceroo has gone the distance three weeks in a row, scoring in each of the previous two matches to take his season tally to five goals.

"Obviously it's good to be banging in a few goals and to be getting a bit of game time," a relieved Mrdja said.

"It's been a while since I've played three 90-minutes in a row."

"To be honest, it's the most consecutive games I've sort of played for the Mariners in competition."

"It's good to be plugging away and contributing to the team and most of all it'd be nice if the team got a few points up on the board and we can make the top-six."

Asked to account for his blistering recent form, Mrdja, who firmly believes his best football is still ahead of him, explained: "To be honest, it's the best the knee has felt in the last five years since I've had the issues."

"To be training every day on a daily basis and not having to sit out sessions, you get a lot of confidence out of that and it's definitely showing on the park."

"The team also plays a major factor and I've got good quality boys around me."

"It's always been a bit of a struggle for me the last three and a half years with my fitness and my knee problems I've had, but it's finally all coming together and finally I'm getting a bit of strength in my leg and it's definitely paying off on the field."

"I think without a doubt my best football is going to be in front of me."

"This is the sharpest I've been feeling in the last couple of seasons since the second time around with the knee, so definitely the body is feeling good, better than ever, and it's sort of full-steam ahead and hopefully I can secure something (a contract) and keep kicking on."

Mrdja, who is yet to be offered a new deal, made no secret of his desire to stay on at the Mariners beyond this season in order to repay the patience shown by management and club's legion of loyal supporters.

"It's always been my goal to kick on (with the Mariners) and feel as if I've contributed more than what I have in the last five years," he said.

"I feel as though in the last five years I haven't put in enough to walk away from here and be happy."

"At the same time if I could secure something just to show the fans and everybody that I'm really dedicated and want to stay and do the job for them, it'd be nice."

"I'm open to everything, I have to be at this sort of time, but at the same time my first priority would be with the Mariners and I'd like to hear what they think and take it from there I suppose."

"It's been a bit hot and cold for me this season, I've been in and I've been out and I'd like to be given a chance to prove myself and that's what I'm getting now."