Fresh off their first bye of the A-League season, Western United will enter their clash with Central Coast Mariners confident of breaking their winless run.
Refreshed after their first bye of the A-League season, Western United will look to return to winning ways when they take on Central Coast Mariners at GMHBA Stadium on Sunday.
United will be out to secure their first win since beating Brisbane more than a month ago, while the Mariners enter the clash in high spirits off the back of their dramatic win over Melbourne Victory.
"They needed the break and it's freshened them up and they've been fantastic the last five, six sessions," United coach Mark Rudan told AAP.
"There's been a huge turnaround in terms of their attitude and the vibe around the place as well - they just look like a really happy bunch.
"Obviously we want to put our best foot forward for the last 13 games of the season. We're at the halfway mark, we're doing OK - we know we can get better and the training week's been great.
"It's been fantastic - the culture around the place, it's quite a huge difference compared to a couple of weeks ago."
The Mariners beat United 1-0 back in November and coach Alen Stajcic said he was confident his side could again take it up to the A-League newcomers.
"They'll be back to full strength so it'll be a tough game for us," Stajcic said.
"And we beat them 1-0 earlier in the year but (it was) possibly one of our more fortunate wins so we know how tough the game's going to be."
Rudan said his team had learned plenty from that last encounter, when they created chances but failed to convert them.
"The focus has been on us and what we can do with the ball," he said.
"We're very confident, the boys are in good spirits, they understand how big a game this is for us as well - so they can't wait for the game to start."
United are boasting a healthier squad than before the bye, with Josh Risdon, Panagiotis Kone and Ersan Gulum in contention to return.
The Mariners are without Sam Silvera, who is on trial at MLS club LAFC.
STATS THAT MATTER
* The Mariners have won their only game against Western United, with a 1-0 victory in their first encounter. This is the first time these two teams have faced off in Victoria
* Western United are winless in their past four matches against a NSW opponent (D1, L3) after beating Western Sydney Wanderers in their inaugural game against a team from NSW
* Central Coast goalkeeper Mark Birighitti has had to make the most saves from shots outside the box this season with 21 - five more than United's Filip Kurto (16).
Stats provided by Opta