Zane challenges Jets to carry momentum


Clayton Zane has challenged his side to show the same belief in front of their home fans after a memorable away win.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Clayton Zane has challenged his side to show the same belief and hunger in front of their home fans after a memorable away win kept their Hyundai A-League finals hopes alive.

Almost written off for a top six berth after just one win from their previous nine games, the Jets breathed new life into their season with a shock 2-0 win over Western Sydney on Sunday.

The huge upset means the Jets have now beaten the top three sides in the A-League away from home this season, including runaway leaders Brisbane twice.

But it’s at Hunter Stadium where they really struggle, picking up just 10 points from 10 home games this season.

With four of their last six games at home – starting with the in-form Melbourne Heart next weekend – Zane knows they have to fix their Hunter woes if they are to play finals.

‘The fans are starting to get a bit impatient because the form hasn’t been good (at home,’ Zane said after the vital win over the Wanderers.

‘But you can see the moments when we end up on the front foot and have a go at teams, that’s the bare minimum Newcastle teams need to do.

‘We need to go out and show we want to score goals. It’s just trying to use the result today to convince (the players) we can do it at home as well.

‘I still think it’s in our hands and it’s a good thing we were starting to get written off.’

There will be no one signing the Jets’ death-notice now after they upstaged an insipid Wanderers side which tired from midweek ACL action.

The Jets always looked to have the game in their control and struck at just the right times.

A header to defender Kew Jaliens eight minutes before the break before Adam Taggart’s 10th goal of the season midway through the second half iced the result.

‘I don’t think it was the most complete game we’re capable of but a very good reaction on the performance (2-0 loss to Sydney FC) last week,’ Zane said.

‘Today we had that cutting edge and it looked like we had a few goals in us.

‘A little bit of it was counter attacking, that’s the way we seem to get success away from home and it worked well again

‘It was a win to stay in touch with the pack and the players knew the importance of it.’

Zane sprung a surprise starting all three strikers Taggart, Emile Heskey and Joel Griffiths, with the latter deployed wide on the right.

The tactic worked and it might be something the rookie coach sticks with for the remainder of the season, with the attacking trio capable of proving a real handful for opposition defenders.

‘Griffo added a lot to because he thinks like a striker,’ Zane said.

‘It’s hard to find the balance because they are all out and out strikers but I thought they did quite well, particularly (Griffiths) in the wide right position.

‘I was happy to see (Heskey) get through 90 minutes because he was out for a long time, and he’s copped a bit of flak.

‘But when he puts in a performance like he did against Brisbane (a fortnight ago), I thought he was good last week and he’s backed it up tonight.’