Match Preview: Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets


The Newcastle Jets will travel across the Tasman on Saturday ahead of their Round 2 game against Wellington Phoenix.

The Newcastle Jets will travel across the Tasman on Saturday ahead of their Round 2 game against Wellington Phoenix.

In the past, the Jets have struggled in New Zealand, winning just one out of seven games against the Phoenix.

A 3-2 win over Melbourne Heart last weekend will give the Jets a great deal of confidence going into Sunday-s game.

Phoenix on the other hand had a 1-all draw with Gold Coast United last Sunday and showed some great resilience in holding United out in the second half despite losing a number of players to injury.


This week the Jets lose central midfielder Ruben Zadkovich who is not well enough to travel with the team.

“I want to take players who are 100 per cent fit in my eyes,” Interim Coach Craig Deans said.

“Ruben is very disappointed to not be going but I believe it is the right thing to do.”

Deans will bring Marko Jesic, Jeremy Brockie and Ben Kantarovski into the starting 11, with Ali Abbas and Labinot Haliti relegated to the bench.

“I think the changes I have made will be positive for the team,” Deans added.

“We want to go over to Wellington and get a result and I think the changes I have made might help with that.

‘With the players coming in we have made a little adjustment to the formation and way we play.

‘‘We don-t want to go there and say we haven-t won in Wellington in four or five games, let-s just be respectable. I want to get a result, and I think the couple of little changes might help achieve that.”

Deans can also expect Phoenix to make some changes after injuries to a number of their players almost cost them their 1-all draw on the weekend.


Bringing Kantarovski in to start will give the Jets some more leg speed, something they lacked during their game against Heart.

“Ben is a good footballer, he is comfortable on the ball,” Deans said.

“I am bringing him in to give us what we lacked last week.”

Despite the injuries suffered by Phoenix last weekend, Deans is aware that this will be a tough game and will greatly test his team.

“Wellington-s danger is that they are willing to work really hard for 90 minutes,“ Deans explained.

“They have some good individuals in Ifill, Greenacre and Bertos and Brown chips in with goals from time to time and is a big threat.

“We need to focus on our own game and be respectful of what they have but also be focused and concentrate on what we have in our side and try and control the game from our end. “