Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold admits his side was lucky to come away with over North Queensland Fury last night.

The Mariners went third thanks to their 1-0 victory at Bluetongue Stadium and although the three points were welcomed, it was the manner in which they were achieved which frustrated Arnold.

"I'm happy with the three points but that's where it ends," Arnold said. "I think we were a little too negative tonight.

"We gave North Queensland the opportunity to get back into their shape. But, overall we deserved to win the game, we did have four or five good chances."

The Mariners joined Gold Coast United on 33 points but their superior goal difference enabled them to move up from fourth ahead of the Boxing Day clash with Adelaide United at home.