Roar showdown could 'define' Mariners' season - Peter Skapetis
He's been in town for less than a week but Peter Skapetis has wasted no time in putting his Central Coast Mariners teammates on notice over their A-League ambitions.
Skapetis on Tuesday urged his teammates to treat their upcoming stretch of games as must-win if they want to break their three-year finals drought.
With the Mariners sitting three points behind the sixth-placed Western Sydney Wanderers, Skapetis said fixtures like Saturday's meeting against the eighth-placed Brisbane Roar could determine their fate.
Paul Okon's side, who are winless in their past eight matches, then meet the Wanderers and fifth-placed Adelaide United.
"This can define a season, especially over the next few weeks with the fixtures we've got and the must-win games," Skapetis said on Tuesday.
"We'll treat it as a final to get us to the finals.
"It's an exciting time ahead because this is football; if you can't get motivated about this period in your career, then you don't enjoy the sport."
Arriving in Gosford from Brisbane last week, the former QPR and Stoke City youth player came on as a 74th minute substitute in Saturday's draw with defending champions Sydney FC.
However, Skapetis is keen on making more of an impact against his former team, where he made 14 appearances but failed to score a goal.
"I want to play finals football and do everything I can to help the team win games and push the club in the direction it should be going, and that's higher up the ladder," the 23-year-old said.
"It's a very important game for both teams. It's must-win for both of us and I'm sure with the quality we have in our squad, three points won't be an issue."
He admitted he was unsure what position Okon -- who mentored Skapetis during his time as coach of the Young Socceroos -- had planned at the Mariners.
"Not specifically, [but)] I don't think there's anything wrong with versatility," Skapetis said.
"I'm comfortable playing on the right, the left or down the middle.
"I want to offer what I can when I'm called upon."