Emile Heskey says he and his Jets teammates are raring to go for the much-hyped clash with Sydney FC on Saturday night.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets striker Emile Heskey says he and his Jets teammates are raring to go for the much-hyped clash with Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.
A 30,000 plus crowd is expected for the clash as the A-League-s two most high-profile signings, Heskey and Sydney FC marquee Alessandro Del Piero take centre-stage.
“I know it-s going to be a massive game,” Heskey said.
“Going down to Sydney, it-s a big city, and you always want to win against your big city rivals. It-s going to be a massive game and we-re raring to go.
“There will be 30,000 people screaming, cheering and getting us going and we-re looking forward to it.”
With Jets supporters close to snapping up their full allocation of away tickets for the clash, Heskey said he was looking forward to seeing plenty of Newcastle fans in the stands on Saturday evening.
“That-s brilliant,” he said.
“That-s even better for us to know that we-ll have that support there to spur us on to do well as well.”
Following Newcastle-s 2-0 loss to Adelaide United last weekend, Heskey indicated that both he as an individual and the Jets as a collective unit still have room for improvement.
“It was up and down (against Adelaide). I felt I could have been in the game a little bit more, but obviously, my fitness isn-t where I want it to be,” Heskey said.
“These lads have been training for four months now. I-m getting up to speed, day-by-day and hopefully I-ll be up there soon.
“We do need to improve, but I think we kept the ball reasonably well, even with 10 men. We-ve got to try and create a few more chances and hopefully get a few goals.
“It was difficult, because the way that Adelaide played, they really stifled the opportunity to get it into my feet and into Ruben-s feet as well.
“We had to go out wide and get the crosses in early, and we didn-t quite achieve that, but I don-t think we can too be critical of us. It-s a difficult game and you-ve got to try and suss out the strategy early on.”
Heskey played 70 minutes in his debut match for the Jets and the former England international is hopeful of playing out the full 90 against the Sky Blues.
“I hope so, I-ll see how it goes. That-s obviously up to the manager,” he said.
“I felt like I could have played a little bit more on the weekend, but he chose to bring me off, but I-ll get the minutes in when I can.”
Remarkably, despite their glittering careers in Europe, Heskey and Del Piero have never been on the same pitch together. However, Heskey is still well aware of the danger Del Piero will pose to the Jets defence.
“There was an England versus Italy game where I came off in the 73rd minute and he came on in the 73rd minute, but we-ve never actually clashed before,” he said.
“He-s a brilliant player. You can see from some of the touches he had in the game (against Wellington) that he-s still got the ability to thrill a crowd and create chances.
“We-ve got a hard task, but I-m sure we-ll do well.”