Zane ready for first trip to Wanderland


Clayton Zane says the Jets will draw on the lessons learned from the last meeting with Western Sydney at Pirtek Stadium on Sunday.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Clayton Zane says the Jets will draw on the lessons learned from the last meeting with Western Sydney when they face the Wanderers at Pirtek Stadium on Sunday.

A late equaliser from Adam Taggart ensured the Jets snatched a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw with Western Sydney at Hunter Stadium in Round 17.

Zane said the Jets had taken a number of positives from that performance that they would look to draw on this Sunday.

“It-s going to be an interesting game because Western Sydney look to control teams without the ball a bit more,” Zane explained.

“But with them being at home, there-s an expectation that they are quite positive with the way they play and their game plan is one where they try to take it to the opposition.

“We-ve had a little bit of success trying to soak pressure up away from home and hit teams on the counter-attack.

“We played Western Sydney only a matter of weeks ago, so we have a good idea how to approach the game tactically.

“Obviously we came away from that match with a point, so it will be a very similar type of approach from a tactical perspective as what it was last time.”

Zane indicated that he would look to start mid-season recruit Joel Griffiths in an effort to give the Jets more attacking impetus.

“Our instructions this week are for our players in the front third to take a bit more initiative and maybe take chances higher up the pitch that we didn-t look to do against Sydney last week,” Zane said.

“We-re looking at adding a little bit more thrust going forward into the team.

“One of the things that we-ve looked at is trying to find a way to get Joel Griffiths into the team, so that we can have him in a position where he can make an impact from an attacking point of view.

“With Joel, rather than putting a time limit on him, I think he-s the type of player that could push through to a full 90 minutes, he-s got that mentality.

“We-ve got Adam Taggart up front who has done very well in terms of adding goals to the team, so we just need to make sure the balance is right.”

Zane said the Jets would have to be wary of Western Sydney-s potency on the counter attack, with the return of former Dutch international Kew Jaliens set to help in that regard.

“We expect to face a stronger team than what they put out against Perth, and we-ve prepared as such,” Zane said.

“They-ve added good depth to their squad with Mullen and Golec coming in, so they-ve got a bit of room to move in terms of personnel.

“Western Sydney are a team that throw everything at you, especially at home, so we have to make sure we keep that defensive structure we-ve had in previous away games.

“Kew Jaliens comes back in after one week out. He-s a player we-ve brought in from abroad and he add so much experience.”

Zane said a good result for the Jets was crucial in order to maintain touching distance with Hyundai A-League-s top six.

“For us it-s a game where we need to stay in contact with the rest of the pack, it-s as simple as that,” Zane said.

“There-s still enough games for us to potentially finish in the top four, so it-s definitely not do-or-die for us at the moment.

“Our thinking going into this game is that we can-t fall too far away from the pack. We need to give ourselves every chance coming into the past three or four matches.”