Thwaite: Jets clash pivotal for GCU

Gold Coast ironman Michael Thwaite has pointed to Sunday's clash against the Jets in Newcastle as pivotal to United's season, with a string of home games to follow.

Gold Coast ironman Michael Thwaite has pointed to Sunday's clash against the Jets in Newcastle as pivotal to United's season, with a string of home games to follow.

If GCU can beat Newcastle it will return home for the holiday period on 30 points, and won't have to leave the Coast again until January 17 when it clashes with Sydney.

Gold Coast was unhappy with the draw it was dealt to start the season - it wanted to host a Round 1 blockbuster against Brisbane - but must now be counting its blessings at the thought of a month at home.

"No-one wants to be travelling away on Christmas and New Year's. We have four games coming up at home so if we can get a good result in Newcastle we will definitely be turning a corner running into the finals," Thwaite said.

"It will be great for the culture of our club especially for our crowds and the community to be sticking around over the holiday period."

The vice-captain is the only United player to start every game this season and although his side has had a mixed first season in the Hyundai A-League Thwaite believes the club is getting back on track.

"I still think we have a lot to achieve in the last round, we are starting to get the core group of players back on the pitch. Adama (Traore) and Milson will play Youth League this week and there is the other Brazilians (Robson and Jefferson) to come which will strengthen our squad," he said.

"When we do have our foundation there we can be a very strong team, but we haven't been able to get the same XI on the pitch so if we can change that and start playing how we are training it will all come together."

GCU travelled to Newcastle in Roudn 4 and had its winning streak abruptly halted by the Jets, who have played some of their best football in recent weeks with away wins over Sydney and Adelaide.

And although Thwaite is aware of the closeness of the competition, he and his team-mates are focusing only on their own performances and not the logjam of clubs snapping at their heels.

"(Branko) Culina has got the Jets functioning very well, they have had their own struggles with players unavailable but they have remained structured in attack and defence," Thwaite said.

"But we are just focusing on what we need to achieve, obviously if anyone goes on a run of two or three wins they will be in the running for the finals, but as long as we keep winning we won't have to worry about that."