Counter-attack can be strength for Jets

Newcastle Jets assistant coach Clayton Zane believes the Jets’ proficiency on the counter-attack can prove to be a big asset for the side on the road this season.

The Jets opened the scoring against Melbourne City in their last outing with a swift counter-attacking move that was finished off by Ecuadorian striker Edson Montano.

Newcastle also created a handful of other goal scoring opportunities after breaking quickly from their own half through the likes of Marcos Flores, Jonny Steele and Joel Griffiths, with support coming rapidly through overlapping fullbacks Scott Neville and David Carney.

Zane said that while the Jets’ first priority is always to control the match through possession of the ball, especially at home, he said the weapons the team has in the attacking third this season means Newcastle will always be a threat of striking quickly on the counter-attack.

“The focus in pre-season was what we do with the ball and I think we have the potential to be a very good counter-attacking team away from home,” Zane said.

“The characteristic of us being able to do that away from home augurs well for the rest of the season, but at the same time when we do come back home, we want to be a team that has a lot of the ball.

“There’s also no reason why we can’t try to get a bit more possession away from home in the next two games.”

Newcastle conceded a late goal against Melbourne City, which stripped the side of valuable competition points for the second week running.

Zane said the Jets were working hard to address the concentration lapses that have proved costly in the opening two rounds.

“It’s early in the season, but I don’t think it’s something that we just want to gloss over,” Zane said.

“We’re aware that we need to be a 90-minute team and maintain concentration for the full 90 minutes.

“Last year I think we copped a few goals at the back end of games as well and that’s the mentality we need to improve.

“It’s a new group and I think that will only get stronger as we go along and we’ll be able to close games out.”

Despite conceding a late equaliser which, Zane said the Jets took a number of positives from their display against a star-studded Melbourne City side.

“I thought it was a courageous display from a group that thought they could take something out of the game and on another day I think we probably could have walked away with all three points,” Zane said.

“In the end I thought 1-1 was a pretty fair reflection of the match.”