Craig Deans has challenged the Jets to maintain the same hunger and desire of the past fortnight in Saturday's F3 Derby.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets assistant coach Craig Deans has challenged the Jets to maintain the same hunger and desire of the past fortnight in the F3 Derby against Central Coast Mariners on Saturday night.
The Jets have recorded consecutive wins over Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Heart to sit one point adrift of the sixth-placed Mariners heading into this weekend-s clash in Gosford.
“We need to go down there and show a bit of passion, show a bit of desperation and win another game,” Deans said.
“We-ve done that pretty well in the last month bar the Sydney game at home, I think we-ve shown a lot of determination and desire to win and we need to keep that this weekend.
“Being a derby, the tempo and intensity of the game will be quite high so that-s something we-re looking forward to.”
Central defender Josh Mitchell was outstanding for the Jets on the weekend and Deans believed the Swansea junior is reaping the rewards for his hard work and determination early in the season.
“He-s worked very hard and his attitude all year, even when he wasn-t in the team has been excellent,” he said.
“Through injury and suspension he-s had his opportunity and every time that he-s come in this year, even early on in the season against the Heart, he didn-t do himself any harm.
“Then he-s come in again against Brisbane and did another good job and he-s deserved to stay in there.
“He and Kew seem to work quite well together, the balance of the left and right footer is working well and he adds a bit of experience which is important at this time of the year.”
Deans believes the consistency of team selection has been a significant factor in the Jets- impressive form and is confident they can continue to improve as they push for a finals berth.
“Always in sport if you can get some continuity it-s important and we-re building combinations in the front third, at the back with Joshy and Kew, in midfield with Zenon and Ruben and it-s starting to click quite well,” he said.
“If we can keep the core of the team together for the rest of the season that would be an important factor for us.”
David Carney made a lively cameo off the bench against the Heart and Deans believes the former Socceroo can make a real difference in the last five games of the season.
“I think he did quite well when he came on, he had some nice touches on the ball and showed a bit of composure,” he said.
“If he had other people more aware of his positioning at times he could have had a couple of chances to score as well.
“He-s added another dimension to the team with his experience and he-s a quality player so hopefully he can push on for the remainder of the season.”