Mrdja one of the best when fit – Central Coast’s McKinna

Central Coast Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna believes out-of-form striker Nik Mrdja is one of the best strikers in the league when fully fit.

Central Coast Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna believes out-of-form striker Nik Mrdja is one of the best strikers in the league when fully fit.

The 30-year old has struggled for touch in the last month and has found himself in the Mariners youth side in the past three weeks but McKinna is confident that Mrdja just needs one goal in the first team to get his confidence back.

''I think he's potentially one of the best strikers in the A-League,'' McKinna said.

''When he was fit a few years ago he was called into the Socceroos squad and gained a cap against Argentina.

''He just needs to get that goal to get confidence.

''It happened for Matt Simon last year, he didn't score at all the year before and then got one and they kept coming.”

McKinna confirmed that Mrdja will be back in the first team squad this week after netting a hat-trick with the youth side last weekend.

''He needs to get goals, so he's going to be back in the squad this weekend,” McKinna added.

''He's done well in the youth league, but he needs to do well in the first team. If he does play, he needs to contribute.''

Central Coast take on Adelaide United in Canberra on Saturday night – kick-off is at 7:00pm local time.