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Jan, 12, 2012

Coach urges Mariners to be ruthless

Central Coast coach Graham Arnold is urging his team to be ruthless in attack as the Mariners look to go 11 points clear atop the A-League ladder when they host Newcastle on Saturday.

Historically there's not much between these two fierce rivals with the Mariners having nine wins to Newcastle's eight while they've drawn eight times.

Central Coast won their clash last month and a win on Saturday would stretch their unbeaten run to 13 straight matches, taking their points total to 36.

Closest rivals Brisbane and Melbourne Heart currently have 25.

While the Mariners are yet to lose at home this season, Arnold isn't about to get complacent against lower-ranked opponents.

"I know they might be sitting second last on the table but they've got 17 points," Arnold said.

"So they're still in the mix for the top six so it's going to be a tough game.

"But we're at home and our record at home since I've been here has been very strong."

The last time the teams met the Mariners walked away 2-0 victors after an impressive display that should have yielded more goals.

The Jets have yet to really gel under coach Gary van Egmond's playing style but they are beginning to shine in attack.

"We played very well against Newcastle last time, we dominated the game and we could have won by more," Arnold said.

"But they're a very dangerous side and Ryan Griffiths is in very good form, he scored a good goal last week.

"Jeremy Brockie has got a good highlight reel of special goals this season too so we have to be on our toes defensively."

Arnold however, is more concerned with the attack.

After a near-perfect opening half in their 1-0 win over a struggling Sydney FC last week Arnold was left ruing the amount of lost chances to widen the gap.

"In attack we've got to have more instinct than we had against Sydney last week," Arnold said.

"If there's one thing I can complain about so far it's our ruthlessness in front of goal.

"We need to be more potent in that area and get that second goal to kill off other teams."

The Mariners will be boosted by the return of Rostyn Griffiths from injury but will be without right-back Pedj Bojic who is serving a one-match suspension.

The Jets meanwhile will be without the suspended Tarek Elrich but Ruben Zadkovich returns from suspension.

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