Simon boost for Mariners

Socceroo striker Matt Simon has been rushed into Central Coast's squad for Tuesday night's Asian Champions League match against group favourites Kawasaki Frontale in Japan.

Socceroo striker Matt Simon has been rushed into Central Coast's squad for Tuesday night's Asian Champions League match against group favourites Kawasaki Frontale in Japan.

Simon, the club's leading scorer in the last Hyundai A-League season, was suspended when the Mariners were pounded 5-0 by Kawasaki at Gosford two weeks ago.

That loss was the worst in Central Coast's history and has placed enormous pressure on the team to get a positive result in Japan.

Simon is just the player the Mariners need. His tireless work up front and ability to win the ball will be a major bonus for Lawrie McKinna's men.

He is a big chance of starting with Nik Mrdja out with a hamstring injury.

Mrdja and Dylan Macallister started against Frontale at Gosford but did not combine well up front.

Mrdja had two great chances to score in the first half but failed to finish, while Macallister has not been at his best for months.

"Matty is back in the mix which is a bonus after Nik's injury," McKinna said.

"We'll have a look at things at training in Japan but his running and goal threat up front were important for us in the A-League."

"Hopefully he can make a difference for us."

There is likely to be other changes from the 5-0 defeat with defender Pedj Bojic also in the mix.

Bojic also missed the first match against the Japanese club through suspension.

McKinna will delay naming a final starting side as long as possible with attacking midfielders Ahmed Elrich and Adrian Caceres both doubtful with injuries.

After starting their first Asian Champions League campaign with two draws, the Mariners are now in danger of missing the knockout stages unless they can take something from the match in Japan.