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Central Coast skipper Wilkinson planning go head-to-head with Brisbane

Central Coast Mariners captain Alex Wilkinson believes it would be naïve of his side to try and negate the Brisbane Roar attack on Saturday night.

The Mariners host the Premiers' Plate winners in the first leg of the two-legged semi-final at Bluetongue Stadium and Wilkinson is planning to go head-to-head with the A-League's heaviest scorers.

"There's no point in trying to negate them purely, it's not how we play and I don't think it would work by itself anyway," Wilkinson told the Daily Telegraph.

"We can set up the right structures to pressure them of course but by no means will we set out to stop them. We're at home, we need to take the initiative and be bold, and go for the win. We've got options of our own, our midfield move the ball as well as any and can create problems for anyone.

"Brisbane Roar deserve the minor premiership for the way they've played, but we hope can put something special together ourselves."

Wilkinson added that his side can hurt the Roar by starting their attacks from defence, which includes himself, influential Dutchman Patrick Zwaanswik, attacking left-back Josh Rose and no-nonsense right-back Pedj Bojic.

"We do a lot of work playing out from the back, getting comfortable with a short passing game," he added. "It's very much a short pass as the first option and I think that's reflected in how we play.

"(Coach Graham Arnold) Arnie's tactics have been a huge part of how we have performed, he's got the structure right and touch wood it continues. It's been a great year and in any other season the number of goals we scored and points we collected would probably have been enough to win the minor premiership."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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