Wilko: We can progress

Central Coast captain Alex Wilkinson believes the Mariners now have the confidence to make the knockout stages in the club's first tilt at Asian Champions League glory.

Central Coast captain Alex Wilkinson believes the Mariners now have the confidence to make the knockout stages in the club's first tilt at Asian Champions League glory.

After a terrible end to their A-League campaign the Mariners showed glimpses of their best form during last Wednesday's scoreless draw against the Pohang Steelers at Gosford's Bluetongue Stadium.

The draw ended a terrible run of defeats for the Mariners and gave the team a huge lift ahead of Wednesday night's match against Tianjin Teda in China.

A victory in China would give the team a great chance of finishing in the top two in the group and advancing to the knockout stages. Wilkinson said a draw would also be a good result away from home.

"In this competition any points away from home is something to be happy about," Wilkinson said.

"They will be desperate to win in front of their fans and we'll be doing everything we can do get a result, a win would be great but a draw we'd have to be pretty happy with that, too."

Wilkinson will need to be at his defensive best at Tianjin Teda Stadium.

He led the defenders brilliantly against the Steelers and another strong defensive display is essential if the Mariners are to get anything out of Wednesday's match.

Tianjin is sure to push players forward in a bid to score a vital home win.

"We'll be ready for that," Wilkinson said.

"Away from home you expect teams to come at you but I'm confident we can get the job done."