The Central Coast Mariners and the Newcastle Jets may have to cool their heels on Sunday. Picture: Darren Pateman/AAP
The Central Coast Mariners and the Newcastle Jets may have to cool their heels on Sunday. Picture: Darren Pateman/AAP

Wild weather threatens Jets and Mariners' A-League derby

WILD weather continues to wreak havoc on the A-League, with Sunday's local derby between Newcastle and Central Coast the latest in doubt of going ahead.

Officials are set to inspect McDonald Jones Stadium, with a final decision to be made immediately afterwards.

"The inspection will assess the impact of the weather on the surface, and any decision regarding the #F3Derby fixture will be communicated following the inspection," the Jets said in a statement.

The development comes hours after torrential rain forced Saturday's derby between Sydney FC and Western Sydney to be postponed to an unknown date.

Fierce rivals on and off the field, the Mariners and Jets sit alongside each other at the bottom of the table after another season of woe.

However pride isn't the only thing at stake should the match proceed. Newcastle players will be looking to make a strong impression on newly appointed coach Carl Robinson following his unveiling on Friday.

Caretaker Craig Deans will remain in charge for the Mariners game before Robinson officially takes over on a three-and-a-half-year deal.

The game is set to mark the return of import striker Roy O'Donovan following his mid-season move from Brisbane.

Robinson wasted no time putting the team on notice at his introductory press conference, indicating his intention to inject the squad with some youth.

"There's some really good experienced players which we have in the team at the moment, which will be the focus of the team moving forward as well," he said.

"But if I feel like we can get a younger player with a bigger upside in certain positions, without a doubt I will.

"That was a big focus in my last job, it'll be a big focus in this job."

Central Coast coach Alen Stajcic also wasn't mincing his words when discussing the ramifications of a no-show against their closest opposition.

Mariners coach Alen Stajcic.
Mariners coach Alen Stajcic.

The Mariners are eight points behind sixth-placed Western United with 10 games remaining in the regular season.

"We've dropped a couple of catches in the last few weeks," Stajcic said.

"We could've picked up three to -four points, (but) could've and should've get us nothing.

"In terms of the context, it's an extremely valuable game for us. The three points is massive for both clubs.

"If we are a genuine contender for the finals, it's just about life and death for us this week."

Mid-season pick-up Chris Harold could make his club debut following his switch from Perth, while forward Jordan Murray is in doubt with a foot injury.



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