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We have to get result tomorrow night - Central Coast's Wilkinson

Central Coast Mariners skipper Alex Wilkinson knows very well that tomorrow night's opponents Brisbane Roar are near-impossible to beat at home.

Therefore he has implored his teammates to go after a result in the semi-final first leg at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday in a bid to cancel out what may occur at Suncorp Stadium the following weekend.

The Roar won 10 and lost five at home this season so Wilkinson wants to ensure his Mariners get a positive result at their own home ground.

"Brisbane haven't lost at home all season so we know just how hard it will be there in the second leg, and that means we've got no choice but go straight at them on Saturday night,'' he told the Herald.

''A lot of people didn't think we'd feature in the finals this year but to get 57 points is a great achievement, and in any other year that would have made us minor premiers.

"Now we're looking forward to testing ourselves against them because they're the benchmark."

The Mariners have conceded ten goals in three matches against the Roar this term - their worst performance a 5-1 loss at Bluetongue back November 28 - but Wilkinson is confident the side has improved greatly since then.

''Since that game where we lost 5-1, I think we've improved 50 to 100 per cent, so much so that we should have won the 3-3 game (on January 12),'' he added. ''We let in a few soft goals, and that final goal should never have happened.

''But we've learned from that night. That's Brisbane Roar in a nutshell - how many times have they gone down before fighting back? Their team spirit is fantastic; you can never write them off. It's a huge test but if we want to be champions, it's the one we have to face.''

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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