Vargas: Defence is key

Melbourne Victory defender Rody Vargas believes defence holds the key to turning the club's fortunes around against arch nemesis Central Coast at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday.

Melbourne Victory defender Rody Vargas believes defence holds the key to turning the club's fortunes around against arch nemesis Central Coast at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday.

The fourth-placed Mariners have scored six times without reply against Melbourne in two outings at Etihad Stadium this season, including that stunning 4-0 rout in Round 14.

"They're a side that if they score against you early, they're very hard to break down, they're very well organised," said Vargas.

"Lawrie McKinna's got them well-drilled and that's something that we've consciously said - we're not going to concede early."

"We've done that for the last three weeks and it's working for us, so we'll be keeping it tight at the back and hopefully score a few up front."

Vargas said that while the lessons of Round 14 are still clear in his team-mates' minds, the Victory's results since then - two wins and a draw which have lifted the club to the top of the Hyundai A-League table - suggest that everyone has moved on.

"We've talked about it, we know what we have to do," Vargas said.

"The boys are hitting some good form so we've just got to go out there and not change very much at all."

"In the Gold Coast game and the Wellington game I think we showed a lot of spirit to come back, so it's just more of the same for us."

"The Mariners are a very solid unit, they've got the best defensive record so far this season, but we don't want to change our game, our attacking game."

Vargas said the Victory was encouraged by the club's solid record in Gosford which includes two wins and a draw from four previous visits.

"We've been up there a couple of times and had some results and whether we play a counter-attacking game or sit back a bit more, it's up to (coach) Ernie (Merrick) and the staff to decide."

"But we'll go up there and do our best to get three points."

Meanwhile, young goalkeeper Mitch Langerak admitted to feeling a little nervous ahead of Saturday evening's clash, but said he was looking forward to a third clean-sheet in four matches.

"They've got some big boys up front so it might be interesting to see how we cope, but hopefully we'll get a result up there and carry some form," Langerak said.

The 21-year-old was disappointed to concede his first goal in last Friday's 1-1 draw with Wellington - his first since succeeding Glenn Moss in Round 15 - but paid credit to the likes of Vargas, Adrian Leijer and skipper Kevin Muscat for helping him to settle in.

"The boys in front have been fantastic," said Langerak.

"They've kept it quiet for me and made my job so much easier so full credit to the boys in front of me."