'We believe': Hutchinson

The task is considerable and the circumstances unfavourable, but Central Coast Mariners midfield ace John Hutchinson has every confidence that he and his team-mates can extend their Hyundai A-League season by at least another week.

The task is considerable and the circumstances unfavourable, but Central Coast Mariners midfield ace John Hutchinson has every confidence that he and his team-mates can extend their Hyundai A-League season by at least another week.

Last Friday-s 2-0 loss to the Queensland Roar in the Minor Semi Final - 1st Leg at Bluetongue Stadium means that the Mariners must slot at least two goals past their Brisbane-based counterparts at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night to have any hope of qualifying for the Preliminary Final.

Winless in four and goal-less in three, the Mariners head to Suncorp Stadium as underdogs, but with the knowledge that a repeat of their 4-2 triumph over the same opponents at the same venue earlier in the year will be enough to ensure that the yellow and navy are presented with a chance to qualify for their third Hyundai A-League Grand Final.

"We believe that we can do it and the players haven-t given up hope, hopefully this week we can work hard and go back to the Mariners of old and the way we were playing before the New Year," said Hutchinson.

"We need to perform well for ourselves and for a lot of people that have been let down recently.

"We beat Queensland 4-2 up there earlier in the year and that result will be good enough to see us through, if we can be competitive all over the park and compete for ninety minutes we should get a positive result and hopefully one that is positive enough for us to go through to the next round."

Should the Mariners successfully negotiate the imposing task ahead of them at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, midfielder Hutchinson will almost certainly be one of the Mariners- key contributors.

The second most capped player in Mariners history with 91 competitive appearances to his name, Hutchinson has been elementary to the yellow and navy-s successes of the past two seasons and will again be key to the Central Coast-s chances against the Roar on Friday night.

The Mariners- second highest all-time goal scorer in the Hyundai A-League with 12 Hyundai A-League strikes to his name, the Roar are one of only two of the Mariners- existing Hyundai A-League rivals that Hutchinson has yet to score against.

However, Hutchinson has made a positive impact in the Queensland capital once before - his second half match winner for the Northern Spirit against the Brisbane Strikers at Ballymore Stadium in the opening match of the National Soccer League (NSL) 2002/03 season handing then Spirit coach Lawrie McKinna his first ever NSL win.

"We can get back to being the Mariners of old at training by, in a nice way, kicking each other and putting pressure on each other for starting positions and expecting better from everyone," said Hutchinson.

"We need to start pointing the finger from player to player and tell them that they-re not doing their job well enough, or that they-re doing a good job - whatever it takes to get us going.

"We know we can do it, we-ve been down 3-0 in games twice this year and have come back and we know we can definitely fight back, we just need to do it in a big game in a Finals Series, away from home."

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.