Time to shine for fans

GOLD Coast United stopper Dino Djulbic is hoping to convince a crowd of up to 20,000 fans to return to Skilled Park in the future by sending them home with three points in the bag and a smile on their face in Sunday afternoon's home match against the Central Coast Mariners.

GOLD Coast United stopper Dino Djulbic is hoping to convince a crowd of up to 20,000 fans to return to Skilled Park in the future by sending them home with three points in the bag and a smile on their face in Sunday afternoon's home match against the Central Coast Mariners.

United are expected to obliterate their current home attendance record of 10,336, with owner Clive Palmer giving fans an early Christmas present in the form of free admission.

The news of Palmer's gift has set the United dressing room abuzz over the past week and Djulbic says the team will not pass up the opportunity to send fans home happy and give them an incentive to become regulars at Robina.

"This will probably be the biggest crowd we've ever played in front of at home and it's a good thing what Clive's doing, but the important thing is the week after when we play Perth Glory at home, that those people come back," he said.

"It's important that we get three points and send them home happy - if we can do it with flair it'll be even better."

"I don't think the smaller crowds influenced the way we play at home because we've been winning, but as always the boys are keen to put on a good show."

Arguably the form defender of the competition, Djulbic will also be looking to put right Wednesday's disappointing 2-0 loss away to the Newcastle Jets, where two late goals from set pieces sealed a rare loss for United, who were missing captain Jason Culina and defender John Curtis who were both rested in preparation for this weekend's match.

"We were outclassed, to be honest. They were better the whole game, from the first minute and they just wanted it more than we did and we need to do better," Djulbic said.

United and Central Coast have met twice already this season - the last time, an entertaining 3-2 win for the Gold Coast in Gosford in which Djulbic scored United-s opener on the stroke of half-time.

In September, when the Mariners came to Skilled Park, the two sides played out a dour 0-0 draw - but this time around, with third place on offer for the winner, Djulbic is expecting a more attacking Mariners side and a match that is sure to entertain.

"We're in front of them on the ladder now and I think last time they were three points ahead of us so they were happy with just a draw here," he said.

"Now, if they want to go past us they need to beat us so I'm hoping that they'll open up a bit and give us the opportunity to score. I think it'll be a great game and hopefully the crowd will get the boys going more as well."