Murwillumbah facing a tough encounter

MURWILLUMBAH coach Mick McCarthy believes his men must have self-belief and remain focused if they are to topple fourth-placed United Eagles at Jim Devine Oval this afternoon.

Since opening the season with an emphatic 3-0 win away to Burleigh, the Gold Coast Soccer first division newcomers have suffered four convincing losses - three of which were at home - from seven fixtures.

Impressive goal hauls over Kings- cliff (9-0) and Musgrave (4-0) swung the goal differential back in Murwil- lumbah's favour, but a demoralising 3-3 draw with wooden spooners Griffith Uni last weekend may have put a little chink in the confidence armour.

“It's a very tough proposition, but the boys need to believe they can do it,” McCarthy said.

“I'm really happy with the guys' effort and attitude, and hopefully we can cause an upset this week.

“We just can't afford for our concentration levels to continue dipping or we could leak too many goals. We're probably going to have to be more defensive minded this week and maybe try to catch them on the break.”

Although McCarthy has lost Adrian McDonald with a dislocated shoulder, he will welcome the return from injury of Jiah Spinks-Symmerill.

He is also pleased to see striker Craig Smith back on the park.

“Craig is a high quality footballer with lots of experience,” he said.

“It's a good boost for the squad.”

As the only Tweed-based soccer side playing in the region this weekend, McCarthy hopes local fans get out to support their boys

“We're a well supported team and there's a good atmosphere building around the club at the moment,” he said. “I hope to see as many of our fans there as possible to cheer on the boys.”

Lying in sixth spot - level on points (10) with Tugun and Burleigh but ahead on goal difference - a win will put Murwillumbah up with fifth- placed Merrimac on 13, and would create some much-needed breathing space on a tight ladder.

The action kicks off at 3pm.

Elsewhere, undefeated outfits Runaway Bay and Robina City collide in the anticipated top-of-the-table-clash, while Merrimac meets Musgrave, and Tugun tackles Griffith Uni.

Meanwhile in Premier League action, Mudgeeraba hosts Nerang, Southport clashes with Coomera, Gold Coast Knights take on Magic United, Broadbeach United battles with Musgrave, and Palm Beach is pitted against Surfers Paradise.

Tomorrow the Tweed Valley Kings are looking to get back on the winner's list with victory against cross-border rivals Burleigh Heads at Pizzey Park from 4pm.

The Kings are without a win in their past four outings, but as the table stands a win could propel them three spots up the ladder and away from the relegation zone.



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