Jets switched on for Roar clash


Gary van Egmond believes the Jets have to ensure they don’t concede any cheap goals when the take on Brisbane Roar on Saturday.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond believes the Jets have to ensure they don-t concede any cheap goals when the take on Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

The Jets found themselves 2-0 down after only five minutes in their match against Melbourne Heart last round, with both goals coming as the result of defensive errors.

Van Egmond said the Jets couldn-t afford to give goals away so generously against the Roar on Saturday night.

“It-s still a process for us to get better as a collective group defensively, but also as you saw last week we need to eliminate individual mistakes, which also get penalised as far as a goal is concerned,” van Egmond said.

“It-s not a case where people are consumed by fear or what have you. It-s still a case where I-d rather have the opportunity to win a game 4-3 than consistently lose 1-nil or 2-nil because we’re not playing (attacking football).

“We just have to ensure we don-t allow those cheap goals. We want oppositions to earn them, rather than be aided by poor defensive positioning or poor defensive decisions.”

Van Egmond said he expected to field a similar line-up to the one that drew 3-3 with Melbourne Heart, with Matt Nash looking likely to start in goals.

“Matt was very good I thought. It was a big ask because he hadn-t played a great deal of games,” van Egmond said.

“He-s played a couple of youth team games and training-wise he hadn-t done a great deal since the end of the State League in Sydney.

“To come in and do what he did was fantastic. That-s the level he-s got to keep on going at.”

Van Egmond indicated Bernardo Ribeiro is also a good chance of retaining his place in the starting XI.

“I thought Bernardo was good last week, particularly in the second half,” van Egmond said.

“In the first half, when you haven-t started for a while, you get to a stage where you feel like you have a point to prove.

“It-s good that you have a point to prove, but it looked like he wanted to get every second ball and that-s not necessarily what you want out of a player.

“In the second half he started to become a lot better. From the confidence he-s had from playing that first game and starting, you can see the confidence he-s derived from that and he-s just got to keep building on that.”

Van Egmond said he was very happy with his selection options in the attacking half of the pitch, with Emile Heskey and Ryan Griffiths receiving good support from a cast of talented youngsters in recent weeks.

“We-ve got some good young ones coming through in those positions. We-ve got Craig Goodwin, James Brown, young James Virgili and obviously Adam Taggart who is overseas,” van Egmond said.

“It is a case of them trying to get more consistent, but that only happens by the consistency of training and the consistency of games.

“Sometimes you can start players and it-s to their detriment and sometimes you can start players and two or three games down the track they-re going to be OK.”

Van Egmond said the key to beating Brisbane would be to ensure the Jets remain switched on for the entire 90 minutes.

“We know they like to keep possession and like to control the games, but they-ve obviously been leaking a number of goals as well,” he said.

“On the transition it-s going to be very important that defensively we-re very compact and we have to understand our positioning with their rotations that occur.

“When we have the ball we have to keep it and not turn it over very quickly and allow them to gain possession after two or three passes.”