Jets buoyant ahead of Sydney blockbuster


The Jets have been buoyed by their 1-1 draw with Wellington ahead of Saturday’s blockbuster match against Sydney FC.

Hunter Ports Newcatsle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond says the Jets have been buoyed by last weekend-s 1-1 draw with Wellington Phoenix ahead of their blockbuster match against Sydney FC at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.

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Emile Heskey-s 72nd minute equaliser secured the Jets their first point in Wellington since 2007 and van Egmond believes that result will give the Jets confidence ahead of Saturday-s crucial showdown with the Sky Blues.

“You get confidence from that don-t you,” van Egmond explained.

“We-ve gone four games now where we-ve remained unbeaten and we-re looking forward to being back at home and playing in front of our Members and supporters against Sydney.”

Van Egmond said he was relatively pleased with his side-s performance against the Phoenix, especially considering they played the majority of the second half with only 10 men.

“I think we created some good chances in the first 15 minutes and I felt for the mainstay, we looked to try and control the game, even when we went down to 10 men,” van Egmond said.

“I thought we were a little bit slack on allowing them the opportunity to score their goal, but in regards to playing and moving and ensuring we wanted to keep the ball on the deck, I thought we did quite well.”

While the Jets have not lost in their past four matches, van Egmond said he still sees room for improvement, particularly in attack where the Jets have been unable to find the back of the net on a consistent basis in recent weeks.

“We probably scored a lot more goals earlier in the year, but we probably weren-t getting the results and we didn-t have anywhere near as many clean sheets,” van Egmond said.

“We had to have a bit of a look at it from the perspective of how we look to defend and where we look to defend.

“I don-t think it-s a case of us needing to create better opportunities, but rather getting better with our decision-making.

“We-ve been getting ourselves in and around the penalty box, but it-s the last pass, or last run, or last touch where we have to get better.”

With only five points separating the fifth-placed Jets from bottom-placed Phoenix, van Egmond sees Saturday-s fixture against Sydney as one of a number of crucial matches for the Jets over the final nine rounds of the season.

“Trying to keep your squad nice and healthy is going to be paramount, while winning your home games and getting something away from home is important too.,” van Egmond said.

“We-ve got some good depth, but hopefully we can limit the suspensions, limit the injuries and ensure we have as many fit bodies coming to the end of the season.”

Jets fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets early to secure the best seats for Saturday-s blockbuster clash.

Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC
Saturday, February 2
Hunter Stadium
Kick-off 5.30pm
Tickets from PROticket