'Spicy' City clash starts Mariners' chaotic month

Mark Jackson is urging his Central Coast Mariners to quickly shake off a loss to Sydney FC as they face a gruelling seven-game run during April as they fight for silverware on two fronts.

The Mariners fell to a 2-0 defeat in the A-League Men on Saturday, opening the door for Wellington Phoenix to move closer to wrapping up the premier's plate.

While the Mariners remain one win behind the Phoenix, Jackson's side will have to regroup ahead of a congested calendar.

The Mariners play seven times across the next 28 days, starting with Tuesday's home clash against Melbourne City and a potentially decisive premiership race bout with Wellington.

Jackson's men also have to head to Kyrgyzstan in the AFC Cup inter-zonal play-off final to face Abdish-Ata Kant.

"We like big games and tonight wasn't our night but we've got to take it on the chin," Jackson said.

"We'll review it quickly and get a quick turnaround and get prepared for Melbourne City on Tuesday, it's something we've become accustomed to now.

Mark Jackson
Mark Jackson: Mariners are excited about run-in (Mark Evans/AAP PHOTOS)

"We're used to that but we're excited about our run-in, we won't let one performance or one result control what we do and how we think."

The Mariners' rivalry with City has taken on an added zest in recent seasons following on from last year's grand final and a chaotic, spiteful clash in Gosford earlier on this campaign.

"Melbourne City are a big team and people have made that rivalry (bigger) with the grand final and the two games we've had against them this year," Jackson said.

"Some people might describe it as being a little bit spicy or whatever.

"But you've got two teams wanting to win, both with good players and we have to prepare for that."

Jackson hopes to have right-back Storm Roux fit and available after he failed to finish the Sydney loss with a severe cut on his eye.

"We'll have to see, he got stitched up at halftime but it was a pretty bad cut," Jackson said.