Depth of squad fields consistency


The depth of the Jets squad has ensured the team has remained relatively consistent in their six match undefeated run.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets assistant coach Craig Deans has indicated the depth of the squad has ensured the team has remained consistent in their current six match undefeated run.

The Jets have not lost a match since the opening round but were missing regular starters Connor Chapman, Sam Gallaway and Kew Jaliens in last weekend-s 3-1 victory over Melbourne Heart.

Home grown defenders Josh Mitchell and Taylor Regan anchored the centre of the Jets defence and their strong performances were noted by Deans.

“Taylor and Joshy Mitchell, I thought they were really good,” Deans said.

“They-ve only had a couple of games this year with the youth team and we had a reserve game with the Mariners three or weeks ago and that-s about it for them.

“So for those two to come in and play the way they did and the goal was a little bit unlucky with the deflection, so they contributed well to the result.”

The Jets welcome back Kew Jaliens this week from suspension and Deans said his experience would be vital heading into a tough match against Sydney.

“It gives the rest of the team a lot more confidence knowing someone like him is at the back and he organises people in front of him and his communication with everyone is fantastic,” he said.

“Obviously he does his own job really well too which is the main thing, so it-s good to have someone like him back for a game like this.”

Emile Heskey is gradually getting back to full fitness after increasing his workload in the last three matches and Deans admitted it would be nice to have Heskey lining up to start opposite Italian superstar Alessandro Del Piero.

“I think he-s gradually built up in the last three weeks, he-s probably at the point now where he can get through half a game comfortably, so whether that-s at the start of the game or the second half of the game,” he said.

“The game we had down there last year was about those two and I think that added to the spectacle for the supporters and you want to see the big name players playing as often as you can.
“A bit like Kew he adds a bit of confidence to the group, but its up to himself and Gary to work out how he can best be used.”

Despite not scoring a goal this season, Deans felt Nathan Burns will pose a huge threat to Sydney FC on Saturday night, along with the in-form Adam Taggart.

“Burnsy as well hasn-t scored a goal yet but he-s dangerous and hes got a reputation for being a good player, he takes a bit of attention as well,” he said.

“So if you have people like Emile, Taggsy, Burnsy and even young Hooley who-s done well this year people are taking notice of those guys.

“I don-t think the focal point is always on one player which maybe was the case last year, so it-s nice to have a few threats in the front third.”