JETS INSIDER - Gary van Egmond

In this week’s edition of Jets Insider, Gary van Egmond is answering questions submitted by the Club’s Members and supporters.

In this week-s edition of Jets Insider, Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond is in the hot seat answering questions submitted by the Club-s Members and supporters.

Van Egmond is quizzed on topics including the Jets- current position on the A-League ladder, his use of substitutions during a game and who he believes is capable of making the step-up from NYL to A-League.

@Tommyjet262 asks via Twitter: Gary do you think we are missing a dominant figure in midfield? Someone who can dictate play and break up opposition attacks and allow Jobe to push forward as a number 8 where I reckon he could offer the team much more.

Gary van Egmond (GvE): The issue that we have is getting balance with the midfield, especially right at this moment with both Jobe (Wheelhouse) and Ben (Kantarovski) out. It-s probably right at this moment where we are most vulnerable, but we-re working hard at every training session to improve that.

Also, I think Jobe has worked more towards being a number 6 in regards to his distribution and he has done a very good job for us in that position.

@petreaxx asks via Twitter: Gary, what do you plan on doing with the Jets to try and boost their spot on the ladder? It-s tight at the moment!

GvE: We just have to keep persevering and sticking together in regards to what we-re doing. It is very tight and games can go either way. I think if you have a greater desire to win than your opposition, that can certainly help determine the outcome of the game.

Tom Hawkett asks via email: Which players from the Jets youth squad can you see making the step up to A-League level?

GvE: You can see now with young Andrew Hoole, who has travelled with us to Perth, that he is definitely knocking on that door. It-s good for him to get a feel for what it-s like travelling with the first team and understanding the preparation for an away game.

We-ve had Andrew, Kale Bradbery, Bobby Russell and Koh Satake training regularly with the first team squad. It-s good for them to get a bit of familiarity with the squad, which in turn helps their transition to A-League level down the track.

@boomshanka1976 asks via Twitter: I would love to see Bridges get more game time. Do you see this happening?

GvE: It-s a difficult one with how many young ones we have coming through in that front third area that are doing really well at the moment.

We-ve had Adam Taggart in the national team and the likes of James Virgili and Craig Goodwin are also doing well. In addition to that, there-s also Ryan (Griffiths) and Emile (Heskey).

Those are the players we are using at this stage, but we appraise it each week as we go and make a decision based on that.

Chelsea Watson asks via email: Do you find yourself watching a lot of overseas football or do you try to switch off from football when you're not coaching?

GvE: No, I definitely watch a lot of football. You still have to balance your time away from work, but I still manage to watch a lot of the Spanish league, the English Premier League and the Bundesliga. I think it-s important to see how the top teams in the world are playing.

@boomshanka1976 asks via Twitter: Do you think you could be more reactive with your use of the subs bench rather than premeditated?

GvE: Not really. Obviously you-re looking at what-s going on in the game and how to best use your subs. Sometimes you pick who is on your bench because you feel a game is going to go a certain way.

It-s very difficult with a four-man bench, but you try and ensure that you have most areas covered. You might want to put more attacking options on your bench for home games, but that-s where players like Josh Brillante are quite useful because of their versatility.

Aaron Bryce asks via email: When the team is going through a bit of a rough patch, do you find it's better to train them harder and more intensely or make training more relaxed and laid back? Or do you just leave it the same?

GvE: It just depends on how we feel the effort level is. We also have to look at it from the point of view of what we feel we-ve done well and what we feel we haven-t done so well.

We have the periodisation of training, which we don-t differ from, so it-s all very calculated as far as what we believe their effort has to be. There are some players who we modify training for, more so to cater for how their bodies are in general or how they pull up after a game.

Mitch McDonough asks via email: It seems that when our centre backs and centre mids get the ball, they are relatively stranded with sometimes one or no available options to pass to. Do you think our high mids and forward line are not mobile enough to play the style of game you say we are trying to play?

GvE: I think it-s more so the positioning of the midfielders, which is something we still need to improve. We-re working to ensure that if someone receives the ball they have at least two or three options, which can then create more of a disturbance to the opposition-s defence.

Sometimes the positioning from a certain player isn-t in the right area, maybe because they-ve followed the ball and when the ball goes out to the other side of the pitch, we don-t have anyone there. It-s an areas of our game we-re constantly working on and looking to get better at.

For next week-s Jets Insider interview, the Club-s newest Socceroo, Adam Taggart, will answer YOUR questions. Simply tweet your question using the #JetsInsider hashtag or send your question to communications@huntersportsgroup.com by COB Wednesday. Then check back in Jets Insider next week to see if your question is answered.