Mrdja eyes happy homecoming

With three goals under his belt in his last three outings, Central Coast Mariners striker Nik Mrdja has eyes on adding to his impressive tally to start 2010, and assisting the Mariners’ to a vital three points against Perth Glory on Sunday afternoon.

With three goals under his belt in his last three outings, Central Coast Mariners striker Nik Mrdja has eyes on adding to his impressive tally to start 2010, and assisting the Mariners- to a vital three points against Perth Glory on Sunday afternoon.

The Mariners sit four points adrift of Wellington Phoenix in seventh place but with a superior goal difference, and Mrdja insists three points this Sunday in his hometown are vital to ensure the club-s playoffs hopes remain alive.

"That-s the most important thing at the moment. I-d trade goals for winning games any day. We have to look forward and there-s always a bit of hope there. If we can come away with the three points this weekend it will be a massive bonus," said Mrdja.

Last Friday-s 1-all draw with Gold Coast United at Bluetongue Stadium marked Mrdja-s 10th starting eleven appearance for the Yellow and Navy this season, surpassing the nine starts he had made for the club in an injury riddled past four seasons, and the man himself says he-s feeling better than ever.

"I-ve found a bit of form which is good. It-s come a bit late and I have to take every opportunity that comes now and make the most of it.

"It-s good that I-m playing well but at the same time it would be nice if we could get a few points on the board, make the finals and keep it going for another few weeks," Mrdja said.

But the 31-year-old is quick to point out individual milestones mean little at this stage of the season, where the club is fighting furiously to regain touch with the top six and secure a finals berth.

"We-ve been a bit unlucky, we-ve created chances and (the last three games) could have gone either way, but that-s football and you have to take things like that," said Mrdja.

The Mariners have a great record against their Western rivals, having succumbed to the Glory just once, way back in 2006, in their 14 Hyundai A-League clashes, but after coming off the back of two victories in a busy week, Mrdja knows Dave Mitchell-s side is going to eager to add to their sole win against the Central Coast.

"It-s always a massive task travelling to Perth. As a former Perth player you know what the mindset of the teams who come in and play against Perth, because travelling and everything takes its toll.

"It-s going to be a massive task for us, they-ve won their last two games and they are up in the top six quite easily, but if we come away from there with the three points it will set us up quite nicely for the last two games. We-ll do everything we can to get the points and come away with a win," Mrdja said.

The Mariners- final home match of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season will be against Newcastle Jets Saturday, 6 February. Kick-off is at 6:00pm. Tickets are available online here or by phoning 132 849.