It's not over until we say it's over

Tonight, the Central Coast Mariners will attempt yet another great escape in the Queensland capital, where the belief among the Mariners camp is one of assuredness that a win by a three-goal margin is far from beyond the yellow and navy.

Tonight, the Central Coast Mariners will attempt yet another great escape in the Queensland capital, where the belief among the Mariners camp is one of assuredness that a win by a three-goal margin is far from beyond the yellow and navy.

The Mariners touched down in Brisbane at midday yesterday and following a training session on the billiard-table-like Suncorp Stadium surface, have set their sights on overturning the 2-0 deficit ahead of them following last Friday-s loss to the Queensland Roar in the Minor Semi Final - 1st Leg at Bluetongue Stadium.

Dean Heffernan is back on deck having served his two-match suspension, while the form of the Mariners- striking options at training this week would suggest that the visitors are capable of vanquishing their three-match goalless streak that belies the Mariners- otherwise exceptional season four strike rate.

Indeed, only long-term injury concern Ahmad Elrich is unavailable for tonight-s epic showdown, where the famed spirit and character of the Mariners club will be given its latest chance to shine in the most challenging circumstance yet.

"We-re definitely in it and we-ll put a team out on the park tonight that is going to compete and try to get a result," said Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna.

"The boys will know that we can do it, or we-d be better served by not even turning up tonight.

"I think we-ve got a chance - I-m not going to say that we-ll win 3-0 and qualify for the Preliminary Final, I-m going to say that the team that we-ll put on the park will compete, whether we win or lose."

In order to qualify for the Hyundai A-League Preliminary Final, the Mariners will need to, at the least, defeat their Queensland counterparts by two goals tonight.

Though an unenvied scenario, the Mariners will take heart from the knowledge that they bounced back from a near identical situation in season three to secure a berth in the Hyundai A-League Grand Final.

Faced with a 2-0 deficit after last season-s Major Semi Final - 1st Leg encounter against the Newcastle Jets at EnergyAustralia Stadium, the Mariners showed famous character and spirit to defeat the Jets 3-0 a fortnight later at Bluetongue Stadium and thus confirm their appearance in the showpiece event of the Hyundai A-League season.

Though much has been made of the Mariners- luckless run of results against the Roar at Bluetongue Stadium, the Mariners- record at Suncorp Stadium - the venue for tonight-s match - is a much more positive one.

In their three most recent visits to the home of the Roar, the Mariners have recorded two wins, in addition to last year-s Pre-Season Cup success at Brisbane-s Perry Park.

Following last Friday-s result at Bluetongue Stadium, the Mariners- record in matches against the Roar now reads four wins, eight draws and six losses.

"The plan when we played Newcastle last year was to keep them scoreless - we don-t need to score in the first half, we just need to stop them from scoring," said McKinna.

"If we can get a goal in the first half, great, but as the game goes on without a goal, Queensland will start doubting what is going on, they have a few players missing and with one goal we could put a bit of doubt in their minds.

"As the game goes on we can chuck men forward, which will cause them problems, so there-s no rush to get a goal, there are ninety minutes to get one goal because you can score twice in one minute.

"If we win 4-2, we go through, so if we could have a repeat performance of our game earlier in the season, that would be great, we can take heart out of that result but Queensland-s form has improved at home, they-ve got a good record there recently.

"It-s going to be hard, but we-ve never backed down from a fight and we-re not going to start now."

Hyundai A-League 2008/09, Minor Semi Final - 2nd Leg
Queensland Roar vs. Central Coast Mariners
Suncorp Stadium - Friday, 13 February 2009, Kick off 8.30pm AEDT
2 Andre Gumprecht
Position Midfielder
DOB 26 Nov, 1974
Height 175cm
Weight 77kg5 Bradley Porter
Position Midfielder
DOB 19 Feb, 1987
Height 179cm
Weight 74kg7 John Hutchinson
Position Midfielder
DOB 29 Dec, 1979
Height 179cm
Weight 78kg8 Dean Heffernan
Position Defender
DOB 19 May, 1980
Height 186cm
Weight 81kg9 Nik Mrdja
Position Striker
DOB 30 Nov, 1978
Height 186cm
Weight 87kg10 Adrian Caceres
Position Midfielder
DOB 10 Jan, 1982
Height 178cm
Weight 84kg11 Dylan Macallister
Position Striker
DOB 17 May, 1982
Height 191cm
Weight 92kg13 Paul O-Grady
Position Defender
DOB 6 Nov, 1978
Height 193cm
Weight 92kg15 Andrew Clark
Position Defender
DOB 24 Aug, 1974
Height 180cm
Weight 74kg16 Nigel Boogaard
Position Defender
DOB 14 Aug, 1986
Height 188cm
Weight 88kg17 Matthew Osman
Position Midfielder
DOB 29 Jul, 1983
Height 183cm
Weight 75kg18 Alex Wilkinson
Position Defender
DOB 13 Aug, 1984
Height 187cm
Weight 85kg19 Matt Simon
Position Striker
DOB 22 Jan, 1986
Height 188cm
Weight 79kg20 Danny Vukovic
Position Goalkeeper
DOB 27 Mar, 1985
Height 187cm
Weight 96kg22 Sasho Petrovski
Position Striker
DOB 5 Mar, 1975
Height 180cm
Weight 80kg30 Andrew Redmayne
Position Goalkeeper
DOB 13 Jan, 1989
Height 194cm
Weight 84kg

The Mariners- bid for a berth in the Hyundai A-League Preliminary Final will continue at Suncorp Stadium on Friday, 13 February, when they again take on the Queensland Roar in the Minor Semi Final - 2nd Leg. Kick off is at 8.30pm AEDT.

The Mariners will next be at Bluetongue Stadium for the opening match of their maiden Asian adventure - an AFC Champions League 2009 clash against Korean FA Cup winners Pohang Steelers on Wednesday, 11 March.

Ticketing information for Mariners Members and supporters will be made available in the coming weeks.