MULLEN: “We’re going to do the region proud”


Newcastle Jets defender Daniel Mullen says the team is excited for their upcoming matches on their trip to Melbourne and can’t wait to get on the field again.

Just days after the club’s Westfield FFA Cup match against Perth Glory Mullen says the team is looking forward to playing more friendly matches and putting into practice what they’ve been working on at training.

“At this stage of pre-season it’s all about it all about playing games so we can work on things we’ve been doing in training,” Mullen said.

“So far we’ve had a good pre-season and we’ve got our fitness levels up.

“We played 120 minutes midweek and everyone pulled through that pretty well.

“Now it’s about getting into those games and the more we play the better.”

During the six-day excursion to the Victorian capital the Jets will play friendly matches against Victorian National Premier League squad Bentleigh Greens and Hyundai A-League rivals Melbourne City.

The behind closed doors match against City will take place on Sunday and Mullen says despite it only being a trial match it’s still important for their pre-season preparations for the Jets to be victorious.

“We’ve got to get that winning mentality first of all,” Mullen declared.

“The FFA Cup game was disappointing because we didn’t get that result and while the performance was a lot better we’ve got to get back to winning ways.

“But we’re also going to go out there and work on things we’ve been trying in training, certain patterns of play and defensive shape and structure so it’s a chance for us to implement all those things.”

The central defender is adamant that while the whole team was disappointed not to progress to the round of 16 in the FFA Cup, he saw plenty of positives to take into the match against the Melbournians.

“At the moment the general feeling is that it was a lot more positive and our play going forward was a lot better and there was more purpose it,” he said.

“Defensively our structure was quite good so there are definitely positives but the main thing is we didn’t get the result.”

Indeed purpose is an aspect Mullen says the team has been working on improving in the new look Jets and the 2014 AFC Asian Champions League winner says the fans that were at the FFA Cup match got a first-hand glimpse into the Jets’ new style.

“I’d say the fans that were there Tuesday night got a glimpse of the new Jets,” he said.

“It’s about fast football but with a purpose, and it’s about keeping possession and going forward when we can.

“We want to play exciting football obviously but the main thing is we get results.”

On a personal level Mullen says that he’s feeling confident in the squad the Jets have so far assembled and he is quickly building chemistry with the new recruits around him.

“We’ve taken some big steps forward and defensively I’ve settled in really well with (Nigel) Boogaard at the back and (Jason) Hoffman on my right,” Mullen said.

“We’ve put together a team that’s competitive and in the pre-season we’re going to keep working to become more competitive and win as many games as possible.

“We’re going to go out there to try and do the region proud and I think the ones that were out there on Tuesday night got a good glimpse of that.”