Central Coast are relishing the prospect of proving they belong among the A-League's big boys in Wednesday night's clash against Melbourne City, Mariners stalwart Matt Simon says.
The second-placed Mariners, who have already downed champions Sydney FC this season, can reclaim top spot of the ladder with a win or draw against eighth-placed City.
"Melbourne City are a big club but I think that is when we thrive, we're at our best when we play the big teams," Simon told reporters on Tuesday.
"They have got some good players but at the end of the day we have to concentrate on ourselves.
"The coaches will give us the game plan that they think will win the game and it's up to the players to execute that."
Simon will chalk up another personal milestone on Wednesday night at Central Coast Stadium when he makes his 200th appearance for the Mariners.
But the 35-year-old said he had little time to dwell on his achievement since the Mariners' 2-1 loss to Wellington last Friday night.
"It feels obviously good but I haven't had much time to think about it," he said.
"It has come up pretty quick this year with all the short turnarounds but ... I'm really looking forward to playing my 200th game in front of family and friends.
"Not just across the A-League, but our club especially, the professionalism has got better and better each year and the facilities the players are fortunate enough to train on every day is a big improvement.
"I still remember back in the early days we used to get a text message in the morning to where training was going to be.
"To have our own set-up now is a real credit to the club and a good place for the young boys coming through to improve their skills."
STATS THAT MATTER
- City have won 10 of their past 14 games against the Mariners, including the past three
- The Mariners have kept three clean sheets in five games this season, after only keeping two in the past two seasons
- City marksman Jamie Maclaren has scored hat-tricks in his past two clashes against the Mariners - he's the sole player in A-League history to net multiple hat-tricks against the one opponent.