Simon back for Mariners

Matt Simon returns to the front line when the Central Coast Mariners battle for another big victory against Gold Coast in the Hyundai A-League on Saturday night.

Matt Simon returns to the front line when the Central Coast Mariners battle for another big victory against Gold Coast in the Hyundai A-League on Saturday night.

The Mariners make the trek to Queensland in a confident mood after a string of impressive results which have the Central Coast club sitting comfortably in third place.

With Simon, the team's leading scorer for the past two seasons, back up front the Mariners are a big chance to claim another victory against the under-pressure Gold Coast.

The Mariners belted Gold Coast 3-0 when the teams last met at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford earlier this season.

Simon started on the bench in last week's scoreless draw with Perth and the Mariners missed his never-say-die attitude, especially in the second half.

Coach Lawrie McKinna is still unsure who will make way for Simon, but Nik Mrdja is the most likely candidate.

McKinna also confirmed rejuvenated Ahmad Elrich is in the mix for a rare start in attack.

After a long battle with injury Elrich has showed glimpses of form coming off the bench in the club's past three matches.

"He's (Simon) back and is at full strength, Ahmad (Elrich) came on and did well, (Nicky) Travis came on and did well, I thought the subs played their part because I thought in the last half hour we had the upper hand and were the team that probably looked more like winning at the finish up," said McKinna.

To give the Mariners more of an attacking thrust midfielder Nicky Travis could also start at the expense of Matt Crowell.

Meanwhile, departing defender Dean Heffernan is determined to end his time at the club with a grand final victory.

Heffernan will link with new Hyundai A-League franchise Melbourne Heart at the end of the season, but insists his focus is well and truly with the Mariners.

"A lot of us have been together for five years and I couldn't think of a better way to leave then by winning the grand final," Heffernan said.