Despite two losses to start their Hyundai A-League campaign, Jets’ boss, Ernie Merrick isn’t taking the Brisbane Roar lightly in the lead up to their Round 3 clash at Suncorp Stadium.
“They’re a good side, they’re well coached and they finished third at the end of last season,” said Merrick.
“The Roar were unlucky not to walk away with three points last week (vs. Adelaide) and I think their start to the season isn’t a true reflection of what we’ll see from them this year.
“We’re looking forward to the challenge, Brisbane is a fantastic place to play football and like Central Coast and Perth, the Roar have always been a footballing side so it will be another exciting game of open, attacking football for the fans.”
The match up will be an interesting one for fans as the Roar aim to break their winless start to the 2017/18 Hyundai A-League season, and the Jets look to build on their strong early form.
“They’ve got strike power all over the park, Matt McKay directs their midfield really well, (Massimo) Maccarone is a proven performer on the big stage and they’ve just added Eric Bauthaec to their squad,” said Merrick.
“This will be a tough match, but we expect that in this competition and the boys are ready.”
Merrick has the luxury of a fit and healthy squad to start the season and is expecting marquee recruit, Ronal Vargas to again improve with more game time.
“Ronny has been training the house down and his conditioning has improved significantly off the back of the first two rounds, we’re expecting more minutes from him again this week.”
One of the Jets’ other new recruits, Dimi Petratos, will face his former club for the first time and Merrick was confident in another strong performance from the attacker.
“I think coming up against your former club can bring the best out of players, we saw that with Roy against the Mariners in round one,” he added.
“I don’t think Dimi needs much motivation for a big performance, but I’m sure the return to Brisbane has crossed his mind.”
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Brisbane Roar v Newcastle Jets
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-Off: 4pm (Local); 5pm (AEDT)
Referee: Matthew Conger
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 501 from 4:30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: myfootballnation.com (SRN, 4BC, Sport FM Perth), ABC Brisbane, ABC Radio Qld, 1233 ABC Newcastle, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Listen App – A-League Live.
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #BRIvNEW
Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimitri PETRATOS, 8.Ronald VARGAS, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Wayne BROWN, 12.Mario SHABOW, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Nick COWBURN, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 20.Glen MOSS (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 24.Joe CHAMPNESS, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Jason HOFFMAN (promoted),12.Mario SHABOW (promoted)