Jets bouyed ahead of Wellington clash


Nick Ward believes the Jets’ last-gasp draw with Western Sydney could prove to be a turning point for the Club this season.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets midfielder Nick Ward believes the Jets- last-gasp draw with Western Sydney Wanderers could prove to be a turning point for the Club this season.

The Jets are winless in their past six outings, but Ward believes the confidence gained from snatching a late point from last season-s Premier-s Plate winners could be the catalyst for a late Finals Series push.

“I think it gave the boys a bit of belief, because we were down 2-1 towards the end of the game and to get that equaliser was almost like a win,” Ward said.

“It-s really lifted the group and I think there-s a bit of a buzz about now.

“It-s a massive game on the weekend for us against Wellington, because we-re on the same points and they-ve been travelling quite well lately so it would be good to get a win there and I think that puts you back in the top six.”

The clash with the Wanderers saw Ward make his first starting appearance for the Jets since joining the Club midway through the 2013/14 season.

The former Queens Park Rangers man was a late call-up after marquee striker Emile Heskey suffered back spasms in the warm-up.

“Obviously I-ve missed a lot of football this season, but at the moment I-m enjoying it,” Ward said.

“I-m slowly getting a bit more fitness and it was good to get the draw on the weekend because I think we deserved something out of that game.

“I actually felt really good in the warm-up, I was cruising about then I got the nod.

It was a real buzz, because there was a great crowd there and it had been a while since I-d had a start.

“When I walked out through the tunnel, it felt really good.”

Despite the short preparation, Ward immediately struck-up a promising partnership with Jets striker Adam Taggart against the Wanderers, with the pair linking up well in the front third.

Ward said he was hopeful of making the number 10 role his own in the coming weeks.

“Taggart is looking really sharp and is good to play with. I think a couple of times I could have probably over hit the pass because he-s got so much pace,” Ward said.

“I-ll start to learn that and play things is behind, because he-s got such great pace he-ll get onto it.

“I-m happy wherever the coach decides to put me, but I do prefer a central role rather than out in a wide area.

“It sometimes works against you being versatile because you can be moved around and you lose a little bit of consistency compared to if I was playing in a central role week-in, week-out where you tend to get into a bit of a flow.”

Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix
Sunday, February 9
Hunter Stadium
Kick-off 5pm
Tickets available from PROticket.