Jets are bound for Glory

Gary van Egmond's team have today departed for Perth to prepare for Friday night's clash against Perth Glory.

The Newcastle Jets have today departed the Hunter region bound for Western Australia where they will take on Perth Glory this Friday evening. The Jets have only defeated the Glory once at Members Equity Stadium during the three seasons of the Hyundai A-League, but will be looking to inflict a second straight loss on David Mitchell-s men.

Jets- Head coach Gary van Egmond believes that his team will draw significant positives from last weekend-s draw with arch rivals the Central Coast Mariners in the first game of the season. He also explained the thorough approach that the team have undertaken during training this week in their efforts to claim all three points against Perth.

“Sometimes you have to grind results out when things don-t go your way. It was disappointing to concede a goal, and the type of goal that we conceded, but it was also good to see that we found a way to get back and at least salvage something out of the game.

“We split the group up yesterday. Mark (Jones) took some of the defence with regard to what we felt we didn-t do really well on the defensive side of things, and I took the more forward going players in regards to timing of runs and some of the starting positions we need to adopt when the ball is in certain areas,” said van Egmond.

The reigning Hyundai A-League Coach of the Year today refused to be drawn into claims that the Glory are the Jets- ‘bogey side- despite a head-to-head Hyundai A-League record that favours the Glory (Perth 5 wins, Newcastle 2 wins, 2 draws).

“I suppose you can look at it that way. It depends which cliché you want to use, ‘you-re only as good as your last game- I suppose, but we feel very confident coming up against Perth this weekend. The boys felt that we lost two points last weekend, which is a good indication that they-re disappointed with getting a point. The spirit has been good in the camp this week and we-re all very eager to play,” he said.

Van Egmond is also under no illusions about the tough challenge that lay in front of his team as they take to the road this weekend.

“They-ve got a few to come back in. So I think they-ll be definitely quite difficult and they-re always a threat from set-pieces with (Dino) Djulbic, (David) Tarka, (Jamie) Coyne, (Nikolai) Topor-Stanley, (Eugene) Dadi, and (Nikita) Rukavytsya. So we-ll have to be very much on our toes at set-pieces,” said van Egmond.

The Jets will this week welcome the return of captain Jade North back from Olyroo duties, and the influential defender seems destined to return immediately to the starting eleven. Van Egmond conveyed his joy at having North back in the mix for selection this week.

“Any quality player coming back is great to have in any team and obviously Jade being a Socceroo and being the captain of the Newcastle Jets football team is a huge bonus, not just on the quality of the player but also what he brings as far as leadership of the group. So I-m sure the boys will be buoyed by that,” van Egmond said.

The Jets have taken a 16-man squad for the long journey west, but today van Egmond said he was, “still not sure on the exact composite of the eleven” for the game in two days time.