Newcastle Jets captain Kew Jaliens says the Jets will have to be at their best right across the park when they take on competition leaders Melbourne Victory at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.
The Victory are undefeated after four matches this season, but Jaliens said Newcastle would look to make life difficult for the visitors in what is the Jets’ first match at home this season.
“They’re a pretty solid outfit, not only their attack, but the whole team is of good quality and they play some very good football,” Jaliens said.
“It’s our first home game, so it’s up to us to make it very difficult for them and keep the points at home.”
Jaliens himself is likely to have his hands full dealing with Victory’s marquee striker Besart Berisha, but the former Dutch International said he is confident of keeping the Albanian forward quiet.
“He’s a typical goal scorer – everything he does is to score goals and that’s what makes him a very good striker,” Jaliens said.
“My task in the team is to prevent the strikers from scoring so I’m hoping to keep a clean sheet as well.
“I played against him last year while he was at Brisbane and we were on top in those matches, so I hope that’s the case on Saturday.”
Fine margins had proved to be the difference in the majority of the Jets first four fixtures and Jaliens said it was important the side addressed the ‘small details’ in order to break into the winners’ circle.
“We’ve lost a few games, but it wasn’t a case of us playing badly or getting battered by the other team,” Jaliens said.
“The only thing for me that was disappointing was the Wellington game where we didn’t play as well as we could.
“The other games we played, in my opinion we played well and had good opportunities to close games, but we didn’t.
“That’s what has been lacking from our side, just the small details, but apart from that we still feel confident with the way we’re playing.”
Jaliens said he felt the Jets first win of the 2014/15 Hyundai A-League season was not too far away and would give the side an important confidence boost.
“The sooner the better, because with points the confidence will grow,” Jaliens said.
“You can play good games, but if the points don’t come it will become a concern.
“We’re still a team going through a process and you can see this as well.
“The thing that gives me confidence is that I can see the team growing every week and I know that we are able to learn from our mistakes and win games.”
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory
Saturday, November 8
Tickets availavle from Ticketmaster.