Hard work pays off for Jets

Ryan Griffiths believes the Jets’ forward line will provide opposition defences with plenty of headaches this season.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets striker Ryan Griffiths believes the Jets- forward line will provide opposition defences with plenty of headaches this season following their improved performance in Newcastle-s 3-2 win over Sydney FC last weekend.

Griffiths said hard work in training during the week paid dividends for the Jets, who looked much more fluent and threatening in the final third.

“We-ve been working on it, because it was quite different bringing Emile (Heskey) into the team,” Griffiths explained.

“We-ve always played the ball out wide a lot more, but it-s another option for us to be able to knock into Emile, I can run off him, Craig can run off him and James (Virgili) can run off him.

“If we-ve got the full squad out there and we-re at full fitness, we-re definitely going to be hard to beat and for defenders it-s going to be quite a headache.”

Griffiths said it was pleasing to see the steps forward the Jets- squad had made since their opening round loss to Adelaide, but insisted their was even more progress to come.

“It was a very good performance from the squad, we definitely picked up from a week earlier against Adelaide,” he said.

“It was much improved and we just had a bit more desire and passion into the game.

“There-s definitely more to improve on though. If I-m going to be quite frank with myself, I think I probably should-ve finished off more goals.

“In terms of the way we played and the way that we carried ourselves as a squad, it was just a great game.”

Griffiths said he was impressed with the way the younger Members of the Jets squad maintained their composure in front of more than 35,000 fans on Saturday.

“It-s the atmosphere and the whole occasion. I just spoke to a few of the younger boys before the game and encouraged them and told them it-s just another game,” he said.

“I said to play like they have been throughout the pre-season and they-d get through it alright. As you saw, Craig Goodwin, Scott Neville, they all just played brilliantly and I was really happy with them.

“It-s something that we need to do, we need to have a bit of arrogance about ourselves and for the young guys to follow the footsteps that we lead with.

“Jobe is doing a great job in the centre of midfield and you can see the way Ruben-s playing. It-s great that all the young boys are picking up to what we-re trying to accomplish here.”

After 14,868 Jets Members and supporters attended the opening game of the season at Hunter Stadium, Griffiths said he was hoping for an even bigger crowd and a better result in this Saturday-s F3 Derby against the Central Coast Mariners.

“The crowd for the last home game was brilliant. We really let them down in a sense because there was a really good atmosphere,” he said.

“I-m sure that they will come along again and after watching that Sydney game, why wouldn-t they.”

Match Details: F3 Derby Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners Hunter Stadium Saturday, October 20 Kick-off at 5.30pm (gates open 4.30pm) Tickets from PROticket

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