Taggart relishing partnership with Heskey and Griffiths


Adam Taggart is confident his partnership in the front third with Joel Griffiths and Emile Heskey will continue to flourish.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets striker Adam Taggart is confident his partnership in the front third with Joel Griffiths and Emile Heskey will continue to flourish against Melbourne Heart at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.

Taggart said he felt having all three players start in last weekend-s 2-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers had given the Jets more potency in the attacking third.

“There was a massive difference and you could see that with the amount of chances we created,” Taggart said.

“We really penetrated them and we had good possession of the ball, it wasn-t just counter-attacking football, I think we completely controlled the game and that-s what we need to do week-in, week-out.

“We-ve got people like Joel and Emile who bring that extra spark to the attacking third.

“For myself personally, it-s amazing having those two up there now, so if we can link together a bit more and get more of an understanding we can really start to put some more goals away.”

Taggart and Heskey interchanged roles against the Wanderers, taking it in turns to lead the line against one of the stingiest defences in the Hyundai A-League.

Taggart said the pair was steadily developing chemistry and a better understanding of each other-s game.

“Emile and I probably haven-t had a long stint of games together before, so it-s good now they-ve stuck by us and we-ve started to gain a better understanding of each other,” Taggart explained.

“It-s a little bit different because you-d sort of expect Emile to lead the line and me to drop in behind, but we-re swapping all the time and I think that-s what was hurting Western Sydney.

“You had Emile dropping in, who is such a big player and I was staying high, then sometimes I-d drop in there and that confuses defences and is hard to play against.

“We had a pretty ruthless attitude in how we wanted to attack and we put it on the park really well.”

Taggart said the Jets would take confidence from their 3-1 win over the Heart when the two sides last met at Hunter Stadium, with Taggart scoring a hat-trick.

“Heart are obviously on a good run of games, they-re unbeaten in seven matches or something like that,” Taggart said.

“I think coming back to Hunter Stadium, we beat them 3-1 last time, so it-s nice to keep that thought in the back of our minds, so we go into the game with confidence.

“They-ve got a bit of momentum, but they-re coming here to our home ground.

“After last week-s performance, I think if we can stick to that game plan, the way we played and kept the ball, rather than just counter-attack, I think we can really do something.

“We-ve had a great result away from home and the other positive thing is that it was a really good performance as well.

“We-re focused on bringing that form home in front of our Members.”

Taggart currently sits equal-top of the Hyundai A-League leading goal scorer charts, and while he admits that has thought about winning the Golden Boot award at season-s end, his primary focus is on the team-s performance.

“Obviously you can-t really hide away from the Golden Boot because it-s something that all strikers want,” Taggart said.

“It-d be a lie if I said I didn-t want it. Of course I want it.

“At the same time, if you concentrate on the team and getting three points each week, the goals will come.

“If the performances are there and you-re working hard, the goals just seem to flow in.”

Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Heart
Saturday, March 8
Hunter Stadium
Kick-off 5.30pm
Tickets available from PROticket.