Jets looking to build momentum


Clayton Zane says the Jets are looking to gain valuable momentum by securing back-to-back wins when they face Sydney FC on Saturday.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets interim head coach Clayton Zane says the Jets are looking to gain valuable momentum by securing back-to-back wins when they face Sydney FC at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.

Zane said it was crucial that the Jets backed-up their impressive 1-0 win over competition leaders Brisbane Roar with another strong performance in front of their home fans on Saturday.

“It-s always nice to get three points up and to do it against the competition leaders obviously gives us a lot more belief and hopefully it will be the springboard for us to get another result this weekend,” Zane said.

“The teams that are in the top six at the moment have obviously gone on a run at the right time and strung more than one match together and that-s the challenge for us, to make sure last weekend-s performance wasn-t a one off.

“I still think with eight games left, it-ll come down to the last four or five games and our approach stays the same, taking it one game at a time.

“The good thing for us is we get the chance to play against teams in and around our position.

“It-s well and truly in our hands and we have a favourable draw with five games at home over the back end of the season and it starts this week against Sydney FC.”

A win for the Jets on Saturday would see them leap frog Sydney into sixth position on the Hyundai A-League ladder.

However, Zane said he expected the Sky Blues to provide a difficult test after collecting their first win in eight matches against Perth Glory last weekend.

“It looked to me on the weekend that they have a team that-s going to go out and fight for their coach and I would assume that this week it-ll be the same,” Zane said.

“They-re not out of the woods yet and like us they-re desperate to finish in the top six.

“They-ve got a lot of experience in their team as well, so it-s definitely going to be a difficult game with two teams that are desperate for the three points.”

One of Sydney-s experienced stars is World Cup winner Alessandro Del Piero.

Zane said while the Jets will be wary of the threat posed by the former Italian international, they would not be paying him any undue added attention.

“I don-t think you can go out and just man-mark him, because Del Piero is capable of roaming all over the field, so we need to make sure our defensive structure remains similar to what it was against Brisbane,” Zane said.

“I thought Del Piero might-ve played a bit more central, but he played wide on the left on the weekend.

“Josh Brillante did a great job against Broich who played in a similar role for Brisbane, so we go into that one with confidence knowing that Josh can handle Del Piero.

“Obviously he-s going to have different movements and think a little bit differently to Broich and be a bit less mobile, and we-ve had a chat to Josh so he knows what we require from him tactically.”

Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC
Saturday, February 22
Hunter Stadium
Kick-off 5.30pm
Tickets available from PROticket.