The Mariners are coming off an embarassing 8-2 loss to Wellington Phoenix that saw head coach Mike Mulvey sacked within a few hours of the final whistle.

The Jets' near neighbours have won only one game all season, but only went down by a single goal in each of their two previous F3 Derby meetings this season.

Newcastle striker Kaine Sheppard believes the Mariners will be keen to restore some pride this weekend.

"You cannot underestimate any team and they'll come out fighting all the time," he said.

"We've had a couple of good games against them already this season and we just want to approach every game the same. Obviously we're still pushing for the finals, so that's what we're aiming for.

"No team wants to lose by that score and next week you want to come out and prove a point. We can't focus on that, we have to focus on ourselves and concentrate on what we do."

With six rounds left in the season the seventh-placed Jets are still battling for a finals spot with Melbourne City ahead of them by four points and both Adelaide United and Wellington Phoenix ahead by five.

Victory is a must if they are to have a chance of a top six berth.

Midfielder Steve Ugarkovic admits the push for the finals "is a motivator as well" going into the F3 derby.

"To add pressure on to the teams above us," he said. "We're just taking to game by and that's all we have to do."

Ugarkovic is expecting a tight game against Central Coast.

"Obviously, having two losses is not great for the club...but I'm sure with the sacking of their coach, (Alen Stajcic's arrival) is pretty motivating for them to prove a point," he said.

"We're expecting a tough game - like usual. They're a professional club, we're a professional club so it's going to be a derby at the end of the day.

"I feel it will be a tight game and we're looking forward to it."