Mariners recruit poised for Sydney clash

Ed Jackson
Mariners coach Alen Stajcic saw his side slip to a 2-0 loss against Brisbane on Saturday

Central Coast coach Alen Stajcic is eyeing off a potential debut for Brazilian recruit Jair against A-League champions Sydney FC.

The 31-year-old, signed by the Mariners in mid-November, has not featured in their past two fixtures as he builds up his fitness.

Stajcic believes next weekend's bye will put the ex-Newcastle marquee attacker firmly in the frame to line up for his new club against the Sky Blues at Kogarah on December 14.

"He missed four months of pre-season so that makes it tough," Stajcic said.

"Obviously you're playing catch-up all the way along and then when you pick up a little niggle you fall behind the pack a little bit more in terms of sharpness and fitness.

"He's had a good two weeks of training now. We've got a bye next week and then we play Sydney the week after that so hopefully he can get through that two week block and hopefully he's ready to go by the time we play Sydney."

The Mariners' coach was a frustrated figure after his slide slipped to a 2-0 loss against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

The defeat leaves the Mariners ninth on the ladder with two wins from seven matches.

Jair arrives in Gosford having failed to impress last season at the Jets with just two goals in 20 appearances.

Having watched his team struggle to break down Brisbane on Saturday however, Stajcic will be hoping his new man can replicate the form which led to him scoring 26 goals in 45 K-League matches between 2016-17 and bring a cutting edge to his lineup.

"I don't think there was anyone imposing themselves and not enough desperation there certainly," Stajcic said of the Roar defeat.

"With the game on the line, with 10-15 to go, I still feel we could have come back to have chances there and change the momentum in our favour.

"There just wasn't enough energy and desperation in those times and that part was disappointing."