Western Sydney Wanderers' A-League Men finals hopes are all but over but they'll be out to strike a blow to Central Coast's own top-six hopes.
Western Sydney's finals hopes are all but dashed but coach Mark Rudan says the Wanderers still have plenty to play for when they take on top-six aspirants Central Coast.
Western Sydney Wanderers - Central Coast Mariners
- Western Sydney play Central Coast on Wednesday evening.
- Both sides are aiming for an A-League finals place.
- Wanderers are currently eleventh in the ladder, Mariners eight.
More A-League news can be found on FTBL.
A 1-1 draw with Brisbane left both Western Sydney and the Roar nine points adrift of sixth-placed Wellington -- with WSW staring down the barrel of a fifth straight campaign without finals.
"It makes it tougher. The focus remains the same, the mentality of the team has to remain the same and we've got a lot of points still up for grabs and we're going to make it extremely difficult for everybody else," Rudan told the Australian Associated Press.
"At the same time it gives me an opportunity to have a real good look at the players and whether we decide to start to really focus on next season.
"There's a lot of players coming out of contract as well.
"So it gives me a great opportunity to see everything about them, on the ball, on the park, off the park as well. Their mentality and their attitude.
"Sometimes you think there's not much to play for but there's always something to play for. There always is."
Eighth-placed Central Coast will be aiming for a quick bounce back from their 5-0 loss to Sydney FC, against a Wanderers side who will be without suspended goalkeeper Daniel Margush.
Margush cost the Wanderers two points when his footwork let him down in the 89th minute which led to him bringing down Brisbane's Alex Parsons with a textbook rugby tackle.
He was shown a straight red, with Jay O'Shea slotting the penalty past substitute goalkeeper Tomas Mejias for a 1-1 draw.
"It's important that we all get around him and we've done that," Rudan said.
"We move on, in football you've got to move on very quickly.
"Adversity happens, these sort of moments happen and how you come back from it are the most important things. That's now going to be the test for Daniel."
Mejias is no guarantee to start in goal, while Rudan flagged Ramy Najjarine would return.
The full A-League Men's schedule can be found using this link.