Jets aware of Heart strengths


Gary van Egmond says the Jets will have to be wary of the mobility of Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park on Saturday.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond says the Jets will have to be wary of the mobility of Melbourne Heart when the two sides meet at AAMI Park on Saturday.

“They-re a very mobile team; if you-re playing in their half you have to be very much on your toes in regards to the counter-attack,” van Egmond said.

“They-ve got some very forward minded players with their fullbacks and those are two areas where we have to ensure we match up there and understand when and when not to press.

“If you press at the wrong time and there-s space between the backline and midfield they can definitely take advantage of that.”

With both the Jets and Heart still stinging from lacklustre performances the previous week, van Egmond believes both sets of players will be desperate for the three points.

“They-re coming off a loss that their coach was pretty unhappy with and we-re in the same boat, so it makes for a pretty good contest,” van Egmond said.

“From the perspective of the team, the most important thing is that we-re going to Melbourne with a really positive mindset and we-re going to have a real go to try and get those three points and get back in the winners- circle.”

Van Egmond is likely to follow through with his promise from post game last week to make changes to the Jets- line-up for Saturday-s game.

“If you can come in each week and the team picks itself, you know everything is okay,” van Egmond said.

“That sort of happened to a degree early on, but now it-s probably not as clear-cut as it used to be.

“We-ve let 13 goals in in seven games and you can-t do that.

“That-s not blaming the back-four, it-s a collective group and that-s why that has occurred.”

Connor Chapman and Bernardo Ribeiro are among those who are likely to get increased game time and van Egmond believes the changes will leave the Jets better prepared to deal with what the Heart throws at them.

“I think that tactically we won-t change so much, but during the game when we get caught in certain positions, I think the personnel we have will be better equipped to deal with the situation,” van Egmond explained.

“If it-s a case of playing counter-attack football I think we have a number of options to really hurt them coming from deep.

“If it-s a case of us playing higher up the pitch I think we-re in a better position defensively to be able to cope with their counter-attack.”