Jets buoyed by Suncorp form


Gary van Egmond believes the Jets’ good record in Brisbane is cause for optimism heading into Friday’s clash with the Roar.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond believes the Jets- good record in Brisbane is cause for optimism heading into Friday’s clash with the Roar.

The Jets have recorded seven victories and two draws from eleven visits to Suncorp Stadium and defeated the league leaders 2-1 when they met at Hunter Stadium in round six.

“We-ve got a good record up there and we-ve got a good history of getting points up there,” van Egmond said.

“We-ve had a good look at them and we feel we-ve got a game plan which we worked on today and again tomorrow and we-ll go up there with quite a bit of confidence.”

Van Egmond admitted he was unsure why the Jets have done so well in Brisbane but said the team is desperate to atone for their 1-0 loss to the Wanderers last weekend.

“I-m not too sure, it just seems to be one of those things, there and in Melbourne we-ve had probably had some decent results,” van Egmond said.

“We-re obviously still hurting from the loss at home in particular and really looking forward to Brisbane who we know are a very good team.

“Sometimes its matchups, sometimes it-s a case of the way teams play against you, who knows, but I hope it continues this weekend and we get some points.”

The Jets are one of only two teams to beat Brisbane this season but the Roar were missing a number of regular starters Liam Miller, Matt McKay and Besart Berisha.

“They bring more experience and quality, there-s no doubt about that but it-s about ensuring the team goes up there and does the job,” Van Egmond said.

“They-re winning the comp by five points so they-re obviously doing something very well there and we-re under no illusions that we-re going to have a very tough game up there.

“But, it gives us confidence to know that we-ve beaten this team already and we know that were able to definitely match them so the team will obviously derive a lot of confidence from that.”

Van Egmond admitted the team were bitterly disappointed not to take anything from the clash with the Wanderers but suggested the short turnaround between games is the ideal way for the team to bounce back.

“Yeah it is, we-ve lightened it up this week, we-ve had a number of short turnarounds and a few away games so we looked to try and lighten it up a little bit,” he said.
“You need to give yourself a chance of winning and not concede bad goals and I thought the goal we conceded against Wanderers was a poor goal and we-ve gone through that a little bit.”

“But at the same token we need to be better in the front third and we-ll change things up a little bit there and hopefully that gives us more opportunity to find the back of the net.”

After missing last weekend-s clash with Western Sydney due to a knee injury, marquee striker Emile Heskey trained on Wednesday and van Egmond said he was hopeful the former England international would be available to face the Roar.

“Emile completed the mainstay of the session this morning and we-ll have a look at him tomorrow,” van Egmond said.

“I-ll sit down with the physio and Emile to see where he is at and we-ll go from there.

“We just really need to make sure that first and foremost he-s physically right, but there-s no way we-re going to risk anyone, in particular Emile Heskey.”

Meanwhile, Jets attacker Nathan Burns has been ruled out of Friday-s clash with Brisbane Roar due to swelling in his right knee.

“At this point in time Nathan will be rested from Friday-s game,” Jets physiotherapist Robert Dingle said.

“His swelling had not resolved over the weekend, so we had the fluid drained from the knee and this was followed up with a cortisone injection.

“Nathan-s MRI scan did not show up any major structural issues in the knee, so we will need to see firstly how the knee settles in rehab this week and then assess how the knee tolerates increasing his training loads come next week.”