Mariners aim to build on first clean sheet
Having tightened up their defence in the past two weeks, Josh Rose says Central Coast are relishing the chance to take on leaders Sydney FC on Friday.
Paul Okon's team made the worst possible start to the campaign when they were thrashed 5-1 at home by Newcastle Jets in the F3 derby.
Though they picked up their first point next time out when they held Western Sydney 2-2, it was still seven goals conceded in the space of two rounds.
They're still searching for their first win of the campaign, but their form over the past two games has been much more encouraging.
It's a fantastic test, we're all confident in the way we've been playing that we can hurt Sydney.Josh Rose
The Mariners held last season's beaten Grand Finalists Melbourne City to a 1-1 draw, then took a point away to Brisbane in a goalless draw.
Defender Rose says there's an air of excitement around the meeting with the Sky Blues, who are coached by Graham Arnold - the man who was in charge of Central Coast between 2010 and 2013 and led them to the championship in his final season.
Sydney FC have picked up four wins and a draw so far, taking over top spot last weekend when they beat Melbourne City 1-0.
Rose said: "I'm really looking forward to it and I know the rest of the team are as well. It's a fantastic test, we're all confident in the way we've been playing that we can hurt Sydney.
"We know we are going to have to work really hard as they are a hard-working team but with what we've been producing I think we can get the result on Friday."
The first clean sheet of the campaign last weekend against the Roar has lifted the Mariners, according to Rose, and they're looking to build on it and get off the mark for the season.
"Every game we've created opportunities which is a great thing - we work a lot on that in training and we've got some really dangerous players," said the 35-year-old.
"We just need to turn that into goals, we're walking away from games with lost points which is hurting us on the table."
The Mariners are 5/1 to beat Sydney FC, who are 1/2 with the draw 7/2.
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