North Queensland fury assistant coach Stuart McLaren admits it is a problem that his side has failed to score from open play regularly in recent times.

David Williams' long range goal in the 2-1 win over Gold Coast United on December 1 is the last time the Fury scored from general play and McLaren knows that if that mould isn't broken soon, it could have a detrimental effect on the players.

"It's become a bit of a problem, it's something that we've found we've had to pay most attention to at training," he told the Townsville Bulletin.

"That's been difficult with all the games we've had and also lost personnel (through injuries) ... but you've got to dig deep. It's unfortunate we haven't been able to score a lot from open play, but a lot of goals come from set pieces in football.

"When we get chances ... we just have to make sure we make the most of them."

Tonight the Fury take on the Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium and McLaren and head coach Franz Straka are planning to deploy Chris Payne who is returning to full fitness after playing the last two games off the bench following a few weeks out with injury.

"He's a very good option and one we're considering very strongly," McLaren said of Payne.

"He's got all his issues out of his head and got himself physically right with the injury and the couple of games off the bench I think he's been more like his old self, so it's come at a good time for us.

"We could do with him (tonight) ... whatever his involvement, he's important in terms of us getting some goals."