Merrick: We need to start strong


The Newcastle Jets will host Melbourne Victory to kick off Round 8 of the Hyundai A-League, in a big Thursday night clash at McDonald Jones Stadium.

The hosts will again be without star striker, Roy O’Donovan who has been ruled out for up to a month with a groin injury.

The Irishman will be joined on the sidelines by keeper, Jack Duncan who has been struck down with a foot injury off the back of a season-best performance against Sydney FC.

The injury will see veteran shot-stopper, Glen Moss make his club debut with Ivan Necevski retained on the bench.

The Jets will be looking to bounce back in comprehensive fashion, following their loss to Sydney FC last week.

A slow start to the match saw the Jets taste defeat for the first time in the 2017/18 Hyundai A-League season.

Jets’ boss, Ernie Merrick wanted to see his side start games with more intensity and aggression.

“We went out there with such a defensive mindset, we wanted to play safe,” said Merrick.

“We didn’t press, we didn’t get forward, we didn’t take the game to Sydney.

“I think the second half proved that we can play against the top teams and play well, because every time we’ve decided to play, we do play good football.

“We can’t continue to start games so poorly, we need to get our heads right and I’m confident the boys can do that at home this week.”

By the numbers:                      

  • Four of the last six games between these squads at McDonald Jones Stadium have ended in a draw, while there have been just two goals scored in the last three iterations at the venue.
  • Newcastle Jets are undefeated in their last three games at home (W1, D2), and will be looking for consecutive home wins for the first time since February 2016.
  • Newcastle Jets (41) have managed 10 more shots on target this season than any other team in the competition.
  • The Thursday W-D-L record of the Jets is 2-1-3, with the one draw being against Victory.

Fixture Fact:

  • Of the 36 matches between the two teams, the Jets have 14 wins, Victory have 13, with 9 draws.

Thursday 23 November 2017

Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory

McDonald Jones Stadium

Kick-Off: 7:50 PM (Local) (7:50 PM AEDT)

Referee: Steven Lucas

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 501 from 7pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: ABC News on Radio, Grandstand Digital, online & via the ABC Listen App – A-League Live.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #NEWvMVC

Newcastle Jets: 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimitri PETRATOS, 10.Wayne BROWN, 12.Mario SHABOW, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Nick COWBURN, 17. Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 19.Kosta PETRATOS, 20.Glenn MOSS, 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 24.Joe CHAMPNESS, 30.Ivan NECEVSKI, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 10.Wayne BROWN (promoted), 12.Mario SHABOW (promoted), 19.Kosta PETRATOS (promoted), 20.Glen MOSS (promoted)

Outs: 1.Jack DUNCAN (foot – TBC), 23.Devante CLUT (omitted)

Unavailable: 8.Ronald VARGAS (ankle – indefinite), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN (groin – 3 weeks)


Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matt ACTON (gk), 2.Jason GERIA, 4.Rhys WILLIAMS, 5.Mark MILLIGAN, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Kenny ATHIU, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.James TROISI, 14.Thomas DENG, 16.Josh HOPE, 18.Matias SANCHEZ, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI (c), 22.Stefan NIGRO, 23.Jai INGHAM, 31.Christian THEOHAROUS, 41.Leroy GEORGE

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES (returns from international duty), 16.Josh HOPE (promoted)

Outs: nil

Unavailable: 11.Mitch AUSTIN (knee), 17.James DONACHIE (quad)