The equation is getting tighter, but this weekend poses as good a time as any for the Newcastle Jets to pick up three points.
Goals, or a lack thereof, continue to be a thorn in the side of Ernie Merrick’s side but the boss has been working hard to improve that side of our game.
JACKSON: Tall timber re-signed
It’s an important clash this Friday night, and here are five talking points we’ve picked out.
In the hunt
Merrick conceded after the defeat in Perth on Sunday that making the finals is becoming a much harder proposition as time goes on, but we’re still every chance if we can find form.
Adelaide’s last-gasp win over the Mariners means there are now 11 points between the Jets in seventh, and the Reds in sixth.
Twelve points separate us and City, in fourth, and that’s where we’ll be looking to end up with 11 games to play.
Lachy locked in
Wednesday morning saw some exciting news announced for Jets fans – Lachlan Jackson has put pen to paper for a further two years.
The tall timber was in and out of the team on the flanks at the back at the beginning of the season, but in recent weeks has played a part at the heart of defence.
With his future secured, expect the big man to continue to put in stellar performances and impress Jets fans further.
Getting closer to home
Of our last five games, we’ve played four away from home and this Friday night will make that tally five in six.
As opposed on Melbourne or Perth though, we’re at the other end of the freeway this weekend, up against the Wanderers at Homebush.
After Round 17 is out of the way, we’ll enjoy a run of three games at home in the league – a perfect platform from which we can build into the back end of the season.
After spending a few weeks on the sideline with a groin complaint, Ben Kantarovski has returned to full training.
The midfield has been an area of some rotation even with Kanta’s absence, with Steven Ugarkovic, Matt Ridenton, Nick Cowburn, and even Ronny Vargas playing a role in the heart of things.
He's been a key cog in our successes over the past 18 months though, and his return could prove vital this Friday.
Unbeaten in four
In a positive sign for the Jets, we’re unbeaten in our last four encounters against the Western Sydney Wanderers.
Earlier in the season, we knocked in a pair of goals at Spotless Stadium to win out 2-0 and last season we picked up a win and a pair of draws.