Jets to benefit from Wellington trial

Gary van Egmond believes the Jets can learn a number of key lessons from their 1-0 loss to Wellington Phoenix last Saturday.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond believes the Jets can learn a number of key lessons from their 1-0 loss to Wellington Phoenix in last Saturday-s pre-season trial match.

Ben Sigmund-s headed goal in the 7th minute of the contest proved to be the difference between the two sides in what was the Jets- first pre-season hit-out against Hyundai A-League opposition.

The Jets responded well following their sluggish start, slowly working their way back into the match and finishing the stronger of the two sides, albeit without a goal to show for their efforts.

Van Egmond said the fixture was an important reminder to the Jets of the intensity needed to compete at Hyundai A-League level.

“It-s important to set some standards and ensure that we-re doing certain things on the field from a performance level,” van Egmond said.

“It-s not going to be the case that you can switch a light on when the A-League starts, so you have to start doing that now.

“For us, we hadn-t played a game at that level as yet, but I thought as the game grew, our players grew into it.

“It took us a little while to realise we were back to that level again, but once the players understood that, we switched on and played quite well.”

Van Egmond said he was pleased with elements of the Jets- performance, but highlighted other key areas that required improvement.

“Both teams were fielding understrength sides, but it-s good that players are getting game time against A-League opposition,” van Egmond said.

“It-s an opportunity for the players to show what they can do and push for selection for that squad to take on Sydney in the first game.

“I thought overall, we probably controlled more of the game, but they had the better chances, especially from their counter-attacks.

“We got ourselves in good positions, but lacked the decision-making and probably the execution with our final ball.”

Van Egmond said the Jets- preparation for the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League has been geared towards ensuring the Jets are reaching peak form at the pointy end of the season.

“We-ve got plenty of time,” van Egmond explained.

“Last year we went through the whole pre-season undefeated and maybe we were a little bit too far advanced.

“This season we-re not going to be as advanced as we were last year in terms of physical preparation and hopefully that helps a lot towards the back end of a season.”