Jaliens looking forward to first F3 Derby

Kew Jaliens is confident the Jets are headed in the right direction ahead of Saturday’s F3 Derby against the Mariners.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets defender Kew Jaliens is confident the Jets are heading in the right direction and can take all three points in Saturday-s F3 derby against Central Coast Mariners.

The Jets were unlucky not to take all three points against Wellington on the weekend after their best performance of the campaign, but were unable to convert their chances in the 0-0 draw.

But after strong defensive displays in draws against Perth and Wellington, Jaliens believes it is only a matter of time before the Jets start consistently finding the back of the net.

“I-m at ease, we-re heading in the right direction, the goals will come if we keep playing like this,” he said.

“For me it-s just to keep confident and keep doing the things we are doing at the moment.”

The former Dutch international believed the possible inclusion of Emile Heskey for the clash with the Mariners would be a timely boost for the team.

“He will give us more confidence and we can change our way of playing because Emile is strong in the air and can keep the ball more,” he said.

“It will give us more options in the attacking point of view and Emile knows when to head for the goal or when to just keep it, so he-s also experienced in that.”

Jaliens has been strong for the Jets in the opening three rounds with his experience and leadership ensuring the team are difficult to break down.

He has developed a strong partnership with Connor Chapman in the centre of defence and believes the team will continue to improve as the season progresses.

“I think we get better each week, I see us improving, so from my point of view I think we are growing as a team,” he said.

Jaliens was handed the captain-s armband on the weekend after Ruben Zadkovich was substituted, but the 35 year-old believes he already has a responsibility to lead with such a young team.

“I know what my role is in the team and even without the band I will probably stay the same. I-ve been used to this role since I played with AZ Alkmaar,” he said.

“I came here to sort out the defence, I try to teach them moments in the game, for example when to pressure or when to drop back and things to do as a team.

Having played in derbies in Europe with Wisla Krakow, Jaliens said he was looking forward to the atmosphere of his first F3 Derby on the weekend.

“Derbies are always special, especially when you play at home because you want to win for the fans and for the city and this is what we want to do,” Jaliens said.

“From our point of view we have to show our game and we play at home so we must be the team to decide what-s going on, on the pitch,” he said.

Meanwhile, the kick-off time for Saturday-s F3 Derby blockbuster against the Central Coast Mariners at Hunter Stadium has been pushed back 15 minutes to 7.45pm.

Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners Saturday, November 2 Hunter Stadium Kick-off 7.45pm Tickets available from PROticket