Central Coast Mariners coach Alen Stajcic is challenging his team not to relinquish their hard-earned position at the top of the A-League ladder to rivals Adelaide United.
Thursday's visit by in-form Adelaide looms as Central Coast's biggest challenge to their status as the A-League's ladder leaders.
The Reds travel to Gosford on a six-game winning run which has catapulted them to second place, just a point behind the Mariners.
With third-placed Melbourne City also on a long winning streak and just two points behind the Mariners, coach Alen Stajcic is challenging his team to hold off the chasing pack.
After three successive wooden spoon campaigns, the Mariners have basically led the league all season, at one point being seven points clear early in March.
Since then Stajcic's team have failed to win in their past three fixtures, allowing Adelaide and City to close in.
"We've got a massive amount to fight for tomorrow in terms of the league table," Stajcic said.
"We've defended that top position for just about 90 days and tomorrow's our biggest challenge in maintaining that lead at the top.
"From our mentality perspective it's just a massive occasion and what a brilliant place to be in.
"We've spoken about that during the week.
"What a brilliant place for our club to be in where we're fighting in one-versus-two battles.
"It's just a massive momentum shift for the team and the players and the club."
Stajcic has named an unchanged squad from the one which drew 1-1 with Melbourne Victory last Saturday, with Gianni Stensness retained despite being withdrawn halfway through that match.
The Reds, meanwhile, received a massive boost with Socceroos forward Tomi Juric cleared to make the trip to NSW after his return to fitness.
Juric scored a controversial hat-trick of penalties in Adelaide's 3-2 win over the Mariners at Coopers Stadium in February.
"He will travel to Central Coast and will play in the game ... how long that is I'm not sure it will depend on how the game is panning out," coach Carl Veart said.
However, the Reds will be without Javi Lopez, who is facing six to eight weeks on the sidelines after injuring his knee in last weekend's 1-0 win over Sydney FC.
KEY MATCH STATS
* Adelaide have won nine of their past 11 matches against Central Coast, including a 3-2 win when the teams met in February.
* A seventh consecutive win for Adelaide would equal their club record, set in the inaugural season of the A-League in 2005-06.
* Mariners youngster Alou Kuol has managed nine headers on target this season, the most in the league, scoring four of his six goals with his head.