NEWS: Mullen praises new boys, Leonardo


Jets defender Daniel Mullen has praised new Newcastle recruits Morten Nordstrand and Steven Ugarkovic for helping lift the team’s levels as Scott Miller’s men strive to build upon their improved last start performance against Adelaide United this Sunday at home to Melbourne City.

Nordstrand and Ugarkovic both made their Hyundai A-League debuts last Sunday in South Australia as Guillermo Amor’s outfit narrowly defeated a united Jets side at Coopers Stadium.

Speaking following first team training at Ray Watt Oval at the University of Newcastle this week, Mullen said the fresh squad additions had provided a boost for the club.

“The players that have come into the club, we’ve welcome them and they’ve been good for us,” Mullen said. “They’ve lifted the standard at training already.”

“’Nobby’ [Nordstrand] came on and so did ‘Stevie’ [Ugarkovic] for his first game against Adelaide and they both looked good, were neat and tidy, had good touches on the ball … they will be good for us.”

“It [new players] gives you something different at training, a new face. They’ve lifted the standard because of their quality, which is good for the team.”

As well as praising the impacts of Nordstrand and Ugarkovic, Mullen recognised the work of diminutive Brazilian Leonardo.

Leonardo played 73 minutes and was lively against the Reds last round.

“I am really happy for Leonardo,” Mullen explained. “He is a really hard worker.”

“He [Leonardo] is always the first one here [at training], up in the gym doing extras trying to get his body right. I thought he was very good for us [against Adelaide], he’s that outlet for us to beat a player and turn teams around.”

Mullen has been at the Jets for a year now.

“A lot has happened but it’s gone quickly, and I suppose that’s a good thing,” he said.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here. Obviously we still have ten games to go, so if we can build on the performance on last week, hopefully get a few results and then the next few months will be even better.”

Newcastle Jets vs. Melbourne City – Hyundai A-League 2015/16 Round 18
Sunday 7 February 2016
Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Kick-off: 5:00pm (AEDT)
Tickets: Please click here to purchase match tickets
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