Roar up the pressure on Mariners

Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou has thrown down the gauntlet to Central Coast after the Roar side kept its Premiers' Plate chances alive with a fighting 2-1 win over the Newcastle Jets on Saturday night.

Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou has thrown down the gauntlet to Central Coast after the Roar side kept its Premiers' Plate chances alive with a fighting 2-1 win over the Newcastle Jets on Saturday night.

Mitch Nichols' 81st-minute penalty was enough to give the Roar all three points after an action-packed clash against the Jets at Hunter Stadium and ensures the battle to be crowned 2011/12 Hyundai A-League Premiers goes down to the final round.

The Mariners sit on top of the table on 48 points but face a tough away trip next weekend to Wellington to take on a Phoenix side desperate to regain some momentum heading into the final after being canned 3-0 by the Melbourne Victory on Friday night.

The Roar are two points behind the Mariners and have an intriguing derby clash against a resilient Gold Coast United.

"It was a big game for us today - we've sewn up second spot and we take it (the Premiers' Plate) down to the last week which is what we wanted to do," Postecoglou said after the win over the Jets.

"Seven weeks ago we were 11 points behind the Mariners and they had a game in hand and in the last seven weeks we have played every team in the six bar Heart away from home and we have won all of them.

"When I look back to seven weeks ago I was thinking; 'We are going to find it hard to make the top four unless we hit some form'.

"And then for us to go to Wellington, the Central Coast, Perth and now Newcastle and win all those games away from home has been a monumental effort by the players and really pleased it is going down to the last week."

To add an extra challenge to the Premiership race both the Mariners and the Roar have midweek Asian Champions League fixtures.

The Central Coast host Japanese side Nagoya Grampus while Brisbane face a tougher task in travelling to China to take on Beijing Guoan FC.

"It is going to be a tough week for sure," Postecoglou said.

"We were disappointed with our first half performance in the Champions League (against Tokyo FC) so we want to improve our play this week and then we have to back up next Sunday but I'd much rather that then be planning our end of season holidays for next week."

The Roar coach said his side would be bouyed by their fighting win against the Jets. Brisbane repelled the Newcastle side early before taking the lead via Besart Berisha in the 14th minute.

They then took control of the match but hit the woodwork on two occasions in the first half and endured seeing Henrique's 54th-minute penalty saved by Newcastle goalkeeper Ben Kennedy before wrapping up the match from the spot late in proceedings.

"It was a funny old game I guess we had the opportunity to really put it away after scoring first and then we had some great chances to make it 2-0 which would have made it difficult," Postecoglou said.

"But we didn't put them away and then the Jets had their moments at different times where they looked dangerous so it was kind of on a knife edge.

"In the end I am really proud of the players efforts, they kept pushing on and we finally got the second goal."

Postecoglou warned rivals that is was just the type of win that took his side to the Premiership-Championship double last season.

"All the indicators are there," he said.

"We have been pretty good over the last two years at always been able to find something we needed to find something."

"Similar to today after missing a lot of those chances and then missing a penalty it would have been very easy for the boys to drop their heads and say it is not our day but they really believe in what we do.

"They really believe in each other out there, and we are just that kind of team - we will always try to win that game of football."