Heskey ready for Sydney showdown

Emile Heskey says the Jets are well aware of the importance of Saturday’s highly anticipated showdown with Sydney FC.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets marquee striker Emile Heskey says the Jets are well aware of the importance of Saturday-s highly anticipated showdown with Sydney FC at Hunter Stadium.

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The Jets and Sky Blues are both locked in a six-way battle to secure the final two spots in the A-League-s top six with nine rounds to go.

Newcastle currently sit in fifth place, two points ahead of Sydney and Heskey believes Saturday-s match could be crucial in building momentum in the run into the finals.

“It-s another big game, they-re all big until the end of the season for us,” Heskey said.

“We want to try and get ourselves in those playoff spots so it-s very important, and the lads are up for it, so it-s good.

“We-re really hungry to win every game, but we-ve really got to stay focused and be prepared for a tough game.”

Heskey scored his eighth goal of the season and his first in four matches in the Jets- 1-1 draw with Wellington last weekend.

The former England international has found the back of the net both times the Jets have played Sydney this season and he said he hoped to continue that run on Saturday.

“You want to be performing well and you want to be winning games, I don-t get frustrated (if I-m not scoring), I just try and play the best I can at the time and the goals will come,” Heskey said.

“You do have teams that you obviously have a bit of a purple patch against and hopefully I can keep that going, but the main thing is getting the points and the team is raring to go for that.”

Heskey said he expected Sydney to be an improved side from the one the Jets had faced earlier this season.

“We-re definitely going to expect a different Sydney team,” Heskey said.

“Obviously with Joel (Griffiths), he-s a big legend here and he has a knack of getting a goal, he-s two in two for them so hopefully we can halt that.

“(Alessandro) Del Piero speaks for himself and (Jason) Culina, the little bits I-ve seen of him, he-s neat and tidy so he-ll make them tick as well.

“They-ve got some players that they-ve added and it-s taken them to another dimension, but we-ve got to stay confident and stick to our game plan.”

Heskey admitted the Jets would miss having former captain Jobe Wheelhouse around the squad, but said the team is focused on the task at hand this weekend.

“The lads have been training really hard,” Heskey said.

“Obviously with Jobe-s decision to go, he-s been a great captain and a great servant to the Club and he-ll be missed because the lads love him here.

“But we-ll go out there and hopefully put in a good performance for him as well.”

Jets fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets early to secure the best seats for Saturday-s blockbuster clash.

Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC Saturday, February 2 Hunter Stadium Kick-off 5.30pm Tickets from PROticket