Caretaker Western Sydney coach Jean Paul de Marigny has started his A-League reign with a bang, scoring a 3-1 victory over Central Coast for their first win in a month.

In a game that went down to the wire in Gosford, the Wanderers showed an improved energy in front of goal in their first game since the club sacked head coach Markus Babbel.

Speaking after the game, de Marigny said the past two weeks have been spent ushering in a new attitude and style with the playing group who showed more of their talent and potential on Sunday.

"We worked on the way that we want to be collectively and their mentality towards what we're trying to achieve in a short period of time. It was pleasing to see," the former assistant said.

"The response was very good, was very positive. Not only the end result but the performance and the result.

"I'm so proud of them and so happy for them because it's been a tough couple of weeks for all of us. It was great to see they got rewarded for their work."

The Wanderers went into the sheds up 1-0 at halftime but spot kicks for each team ramped up the intensity in the second half.

Mariners skipper Tommy Oar gave away a crucial penalty in the 75th minute, with Socceroo Mitchell Duke easily extending the lead.

The Wanderers returned the favour minutes later when Pirmin Schwegler committed a foul in the box, allowing Matt Simon to convert for a frenzied finish.

Debutant Simon Cox wrapped up all three points for the visitors in added time, capping of his first appearance on Australian soil.

The Irish international replaced former striker Alex Meier for the Wanderers in the days prior to Babbel's axing.

Cox was brought on in the 58th minute as a substitute for Kwame Yeobah and showed plenty of intensity in his first outing.

The opening goal was a source of frustration for Mariners coach Alen Stajcic, losing the ball while trying to play out from the back. A a stray pass from former Wanderers left-back Jack Clisby finding its way to German attacker Nicolai Muller.

After missing an easy shot 12 minutes earlier, Muller made no mistake second time around to give Western Sydney the lead just before halftime.

Clisby was then hooked by Stajcic early in the second half.

The win ended a three-match losing streak for the Wanderers, while the Mariners have now lost three games in a row.

The Wanderers will next face Sydney FC in an anticipated derby at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, while the Mariners will travel up the M1 to play close rivals Newcastle.