Jets feeling confident ahead of Wellington clash

Gary van Egmond says last season’s hoodoo breaking win over Wellington has the Jets feeling confident ahead of Sunday.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond says last season-s hoodoo breaking win over Wellington has the Jets feeling confident ahead of their trip to face the Phoenix in Napier on Sunday.

The Jets secured their first win on New Zealand soil in more than five years when they notched a 2-1 victory over Wellington in their rescheduled Round 23 match at Westpac Stadium last season.

Van Egmond said the Jets were hoping to replicate that result in the first ever A-League match played in Napier.

“It-s always a tough ask to go over to New Zealand, but we-re buoyed by the last time we played there,” van Egmond said.

“We got a good result and as far as our preparation goes, we-ll try to keep it as similar to that as possible.”

Van Egmond indicated there were a handful of Jets players pushing to make their first appearances of the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League season

“Ben Kantarovski has been doing well in training,” van Egmond said.

“There is a lot of competition in that midfield, but there is every chance he will get plenty of game time.

“Andrew Hoole will come in on that right side. He-s been doing particularly well in training and he was a probably a bit stiff not being selected in the squad earlier than this.

“He-s been showing really, really good form and we-re very happy with Andrew, so now he-s got his chance.”

Van Egmond said the Jets would have to be wary of a number of threats posed by the Wellington attack and their refreshed style of play under new coach Ernie Merrick.

“Obviously Jeremy Brockie is quite dangerous up front and is a noted goal scorer,” van Egmond said.

“Hernandez is the one who makes them tick and we have to make sure we close him down.

“He has a free role, and with that we have to make sure we limit the amount of time he has on the ball.

“They-re definitely looking to play a different style of football to what they-ve done previously.

“They-re much more about keeping the ball on the deck and trying to play out from the back.

“It-s a changing team for Wellington under Ernie and it will be interesting to see how that journey goes.”

Van Egmond said it was important the Jets kick-started their season with a positive result against the Phoenix.

“It-s been two rounds and it-s very early days, but what myself and the players have to do is earn the trust and support of the Members and supporters,” van Egmond said.

“The only way we can do that is by going out, having a real go and winning games.

“We have to ensure we go there with a positive mindset, which is how training has been this week.

“A point away from home is always a good result, but I think our team is good enough to win this game this weekend.

“A win changes things and that-s what we have to do, find that winning form. That inspires confidence not only in the town, but also in the playing group.”