Central Coast ready to take on Perth

11 April 2012 12:43:16 EST

Central Coast Mariners skipper Alex Wilkinson has said that he and his team-mates can't wait to take on Perth Glory in their qualifying final this weekend.

In order to qualify for the A-League Grand Final for the second straight year, the Mariners must defeat the free-scoring Glory in their upcoming match. In addition to this knockout affair, the Mariners also have to face South Korean club Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma as part of their AFC Champions League campaign.

With important games like these coming thick and fast, some may hide away from the challenge but Mariners won't, according to Wilkinson, who said: "If anything you enjoy playing the games.

"This is the time of the year that you want to be involved in. The AFC Champions League is a fantastic competition that we're fully embracing and enjoying. And it's the finals series so it's not like it's tough to get up for games at the moment."

The qualification final between Central Coast and Perth will be played on Saturday at Bluetongue Stadium. The Mariners are 10/11 to win, with the Glory at 3/1 and the draw at 5/2.

The Mariners are on a two-match losing streak, while the Glory have won five out of their last six matches, which highlights the contrasting forms of the two sides.

Wilkinson knows that the Glory will be a tough opposition, but he expects his team to emerge victorious, saying: "They're (Glory) on a good roll. They've probably scored 10 goals in the last three games so they're definitely going to be tough. But obviously we're at home and as 'Arnie' said the performance (against Brisbane) was pretty good.

"A lesser team at 2-0 down could've chucked it in and it could have been four or five. But the spirit we've got in the change room is fantastic here, the boys always work for each other - there's a great belief in each other."

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