Emile Heskey and Michael Bridges will be rested for the Jets’ trip to Melbourne to face the Victory at AAMI Park on Sunday.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond has revealed that forwards Emile Heskey and Michael Bridges will be rested for the Jets- trip to Melbourne to face the Victory on Sunday.
The Jets are in the midst of playing four matches in a 14-day period and van Egmond said the pair will be given Sunday off in order to ensure the intense workload does not result in either player breaking down with injury.
“We-ve stated already that we-ll definitely rotate the squad with the heavy schedule that we-ve got,” van Egmond explained.
“We played Brisbane last Friday, on Wednesday we played Wellington, we play Sunday against Victory and then we-ve got Friday against Perth, so we definitely need to rotate our squad.
“Both Emile and Bridgey will be rested for this next game and we-ll bring some more players down from Newcastle and get ready for the Victory.
“With the rescheduling of the Wellington game to being mid-week, it-s important to give both Emile and Bridgey enough time to recover properly.
“This way we ensure that there isn-t that risk of pushing them too hard to the point that they seriously injure themselves and are out for a prolonged period.”
The Jets will also be missing Zenon Caravella for the clash with the Victory at AAMI Park after the midfielder was replaced in the first half of the Wellington match due to a hamstring injury.
Sam Gallaway is also in doubt for the fixture after picking up a knock following a tackle from Wellington-s Corey Gameiro.
“Zenon tweaked his hamstring which was disappointing and he-ll miss the Melbourne game,” van Egmond said.
“Sam Gallaway doesn-t look to be in a great state after that challenge and it looks as though he-s hyperextended his knee, but they can settle down pretty quickly so we-ll just wait and see with that one.”
Scott Neville, James Brown, Connor Chapman and Jacob Pepper will all link up with the rest of the Jets squad in Melbourne ahead of Sunday's clash with the Victory.
Van Egmond said the Jets will travel to Melbourne full of confidence after securing their first win in Wellington since 2007.
“We-re coming to the business end of the competition and by getting the win it makes it pretty difficult for the Phoenix to get into the top six. It also buoys us along for the rest of the season.
“I think in the first half we played some really good football we were pretty composed and we kept the ball well at times and really controlled the game.
“In the second half we stopped playing, we didn-t look to play out anywhere near as much as we should have when we had goal-kicks and set pieces in our own half.
“That-s the challenge. They-re a young team and they can go into their shell a bit, but that-s where they have to start to play with less fear and start asking for the ball, keeping the ball, getting the ball under pressure and ensuring that we keep possession in a controlled manner.
“The win is another boost for our confidence for the fact that we-ve won away here after such a long time and also from the performance in the first half and the character shown in the second half. It-s a valuable three points.”
Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Ben Kennedy (gk), 2. Scott Neville, 5. Dominik Ritter, 7. James Brown, 8. Ruben Zadkovich, 11. Connor Chapman, 12. Josh Brillante, 13. Sam Gallaway, 14. Taylor Regan, 15. Craig Goodwin, 17. James Virgili, 18. Jacob Pepper, 20. Mark Birighitti (gk), 21. Marko Jesic, 22. Adam Taggart, 25. Mitch Cooper, 26. Andrew Hoole.
Ins: Scott Neville, James Brown, Connor Chapman and Jacob Pepper (all promoted) Outs: Zenon Caravella (hamstring), Emile Heskey (rested), Michael Bridges (rested) Unavailable: Ben Kantarovski (knee)