Newcastle Jets utility Jacob Pepper says the Jets are determined to atone for their disappointing performance against Brisbane Roar with a strong showing against Sydney FC in the Townsville Football Cup on Wednesday night.
The Jets were defeated 4-0 by the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions in their opening match of the Townsville Football Cup on Sunday.
Pepper said the Jets were grateful for the short turnaround and the opportunity to put things right with and improved effort against Sydney FC.
“It was a tough test coming up against Brisbane Roar in the first game,” Pepper said.
“Everyone knows they’re a good side and it obviously wasn’t the result or performance that we were looking for against them.
“The good thing about the Townsville Football Cup is that we only have to wait a couple of days before we play Sydney FC and we’re definitely looking to bounce back and put in a good performance in that game.”
Pepper started the match against Brisbane at right-back, before being shifted to central midfield.
The former Olyroo was one of a handful of Jets players required to play in their non-preferred position at times due to the absence of a handful of injured players.
However, Pepper refused to use the somewhat makeshift line-up a an excuse for the Jets’ performance against Brisbane, preferring to see it as an opportunity for players to show their full range of capabilities.
“It does make it a bit tough to build chemistry when we have a few boys injured and others are forced to play out of position to cover for that,” Pepper said.
“But I suppose that’s one of the objectives of pre-season, for the coach to be able to look at different players in different areas and see what he likes and what’s going to work best for us during the season.
“We’ve got quite a few new players this season, so playing three games in nine days will hopefully help us improve that chemistry and hopefully we can build a bit of rhythm in the last couple of games.”
Pepper said the trip to Townsville had been a good opportunity for the Jets to break up the monotony of pre-season.
“It’s always good to get away as a team for a week or so and work on some things because it breaks up the normal routine,” Pepper said.“The weather in Townsville has been great and it’s been really good to get out in the community to try and help grow football here a bit as well.”