Mitch Austin: I'll only get better

In-form attacker Mitch Austin says he can get loads better as the Central Coast Mariners prepare for the F3 derby.

Austin has been of the one bright spots in a difficult season for the Central Coast, with five goals in 17 appearances.

The pacey winger scored a brilliant goal after a 50-odd metre run last weekend against Melbourne City.

But Austin, in his debut campaign in the A-League, believes his best is yet to come.

“I think I have been playing quite well, obviously there is always room for improvement and I’m working on my game each day to try and get better,” the 24-year-old told FourFourTwo.

“I’ve still got loads more to come yet. The more games I play the more experienced I will become".

Central Coast host the Jets on Sunday in a local derby.

There have been concerns from some about the waning allure of the F3 contest with the rise of the Sydney and Melbourne derbies, but Austin believes it is still a special match.

And the winger said the Mariners owe their fans “a result” over Newcastle.

“It will be a tough game definitely,” Austin admitted.

“They have brought some good players in recently and they are doing well now so we are expecting a strong contest. The F3 derby up at Newcastle ([earlier in the season) was a great game.

“We played with 10 men for a long period of the game so to get a draw out of it, and especially after being a goal down, was a great result for us on that occasion.

“It’s a big occasion for both clubs, especially for ourselves as we haven’t had the best of seasons.

“We will be doing everything we can on Sunday to win the game for the fans and we owe them a result.”

The arrival of marquee man Luis Garcia this year has given the Mariners a boost and Austin hopes the ex-Liverpool and Barcelona star stays on in the A-League.

“Luis has been great for everyone, for a guy with such a high profile like he has he’s the most down to earth normal guy you could meet,” he said.

“He’s got loads of great stories, which all the boys love, and he’s not bad at card tricks either. Obviously everyone would love him to stay as he’s been a great help on and off the field.

“At the end of the day though it’s up to the chairman, the gaffer and Luis himself what happens next season but I for one hope he is still here.”

Central Coast appear set to claim the wooden spoon in 2015/2016 with just 12 points claimed so far from three wins and three draws in 20 matches. There are just seven rounds left and ninth-placed Wellington sit 10 points points above them on the ladder.

Austin admits it has been a tough season but feels the Mariners can use that to their advantage in 2016/2017.

“A lot of players this season have made their A-League debuts including myself so it’s been great for a lot of us to get that experience as to what the league is all about,” he said.

“The results have been really poor so far this season so next season hopefully we all learn from this season’s mistakes and fix them for next season and we can look forward to having a great campaign.”