Gary van Egmond says the Jets are full of confidence heading into Friday night’s showdown with Brisbane Roar at Hunter Stadium.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond says the Jets are full of confidence heading into Friday night-s showdown with Brisbane Roar at Hunter Stadium.
Last week-s 2-0 win over Melbourne Heart means Newcastle are undefeated in their last five outings at Hunter Stadium and van Egmond said his side are hopeful of extending that streak to six matches on Friday night.
“The win over the Heart does build confidence, obviously from the perspective of us getting three points and being at home as well,” van Egmond said.
“It was great to see that much support from the Hunter faithful to be there for the players as well, so from those perspectives it was great.
“The other thing was that the performance in general was good. I still think we can get better than that, but overall it was a good night.”
Van Egmond said the Jets are viewing Friday-s match as a great opportunity to take a big step towards qualifying for the A-League Finals Series.
“We-ve been speaking about the fact that it-s important for us to get into that six and put as much distance as we can between us and the seventh team,” he said.
“It-s the old cliché that it-s one game at a time and our full focus is on Brisbane.
“If we-re successful in getting the three points against them, we open up a five-point margin with five games to go.
“Obviously there-s 15 points on offer, but those five games erode pretty quickly and you-re better to be in that six rather than chasing."
Given their respective positions on the ladder, Van Egmond said he expected both teams to be equally determined to get maximum points from the contest.
“(Brisbane) are not too dissimilar to all the other teams who are in and around this fight for fifth and six spot in trying to ensure they get consistency and that-s probably been their issue as well," he said.
“If you get into the top six with the format that it is this year, where previously all of the winners have come from the top two, with this new format it gives everyone a real chance.”
Van Egmond said the Jets would have to be switched on to deal with the threats posed by the Roar-s possession-based football.
“Obviously the let-down of not qualifying for the Asian Champions League would have been a hard one for Brisbane to take, but I thought early on against Wellington they did well and played some good football,” van Egmond said.
“Melbourne Heart are a possession based team, but Brisbane probably take it to another level.
“They probably do a few little things differently in regards to their positioning with their fullback and their wide players, so we just need to be aware of those rotations and how we counter that.”
Newcastle Jets v Brisbane Roar Friday, February 22 Hunter Stadium Kick-off 7.30pm (Gates open 6.30pm) Tickets from PROticket