Simon desperate to play

Striker Matt Simon will need to complete two full training sessions to have any hope of playing in Central Coast's A-League preliminary final against Gold Coast at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford on Saturday night.

Striker Matt Simon will need to complete two full training sessions to have any hope of playing in Central Coast's A-League preliminary final against Gold Coast at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford on Saturday night.

Mariners coach Graham Arnold confirmed he would make a final decision on Simon's fitness after seeing how his leading goalpoacher pulled up after training on Friday.

In what has been a frustrating month for Simon, the frontman was a late withdrawal from last week's major semi-final second leg draw against Brisbane after sustaining a nasty gash while walking his dog on the beach.

Simon attempted to run for the first time on Wednesday after being on light duties early in the week.

Arnold wants to see how he pulls up after back-to-back sessions before making a final decision.

Understandably, Simon is desperate to play.

"It's a time thing," Simon said.

"I'm desperate to play. I"m confident. It's getting better and better every day so I'm feeling pretty good now."

Arnold has been unwilling to take risks with injured players throughout the campaign and is unlikely to change his stance, despite the importance of Saturday night's contest.

"Matty is a big part of the team but I won't be taking any risks for such an important game," Arnold said.

"He'll need to train fully on Thursday and Friday to have any chance of playing."

"We can't afford to take players who are not 100 percent into the game."

"But I am hopeful because he is moving quiet freely."

Daniel McBreen and Adam Kwasnik started up front with Simon out last week and are expected to start again if the striker does not pull up.

Youth team star Bernie Ibini-Isei scored on his starting debut for the Mariners against Gold Coast last month and is also in contention for game time against the in-form Queenslanders.