Jets fixed on turning home turf into a fortress

In the lead up to our double-header event with the Liberty A-League side also facing Wellington Phoenix, the Jets return to McDonald Jones Stadium for the first time since the opening round with hopes of claiming their maiden win of the Isuzu UTE A-League campaign.

The Jets will be buoyed from a spirited come from behind performance against last year’s Grand Finalists Sydney FC last weekend, a match which saw Manager Arthur Papas select Jordan O’Doherty in the starting XI for the first time this campaign.

O’Doherty was solid in the midfield for 77 minutes before being subbed off, and was pleased by the performance at Netstrata Jubliee Stadium last weekend despite not coming away with a win.

The 24-year-old says that regardless of who’s starting, or coming on from the bench, everyone has an important part to play.

“I think there were lots of positives to take away from the game,” O’Doherty said.

“Not many teams can go away to Sydney and have quite a dominant display.

“At any given time, the team could change but everyone is there to do a job for the team and that’s the main thing at the end of the day – doing your job for the team and what’s right by the team”.

The recruitment drive Papas has overseen since joining at the start of pre-season has seen a massive overhaul of the roster, and those new players are beginning to find their feet amongst a new-look squad.

The attack has certainly begun to click for the Jets, with the side scoring the equal-most goals of any team in the competition, however, they have also conceded six goals. Papas says though, he is happy with where the team is at.

“When we talk about defence, everyone has this idea that defence is based on two centre-backs – but it doesn’t work like that”, Papas said.

“Team’s that defend well and keep clean sheets, they do it together and that’s important.

“If you go to Sydney and score two goals, you’ve got to look at that and say that’s something that hasn’t happened very often.

“I’m pleased with the whole team.”

After two weeks on the road, the Jets will be excited about returning home to McDonald Jones Stadium, a venue where they have claimed victory over Wellington Phoenix seven times before.

O’Doherty spoke of his excitement to be back on home turf, and says the energy from the supporters can turn McDonald Jones Stadium into a fortress.

“To be back at home and playing in front of the supporter – it’s what we are most looking forward to,” he said.

“It’s important to make your home ground a fortress. If we can get a win now and have some momentum going into some more home games, it’s only good for us.”

Wellington Phoenix suffered their first loss of the season to the Wanderers last week but rebounded with a victory in their FFA Cup match against Western United during the week.

As a team that’s featured in two of the past three finals series, Papas made clear that our opposition pose a great challenge for the Jets.

“I think they are a very good team,” he said. “I think it’s a team that has a very clear way of playing.”

“[They have] been together for three years as a team. There have been some changes over time but the principals are there – the principals are the same regardless of who the players are and that’s what we are trying to build as well.

“One team has been together for three years and our team has been together for three games. I think we can have a very good performance and get a result.”

Tickets can still be secured for tonight’s game by clicking here.