Jets looking for balance

Gary van Egmond believes his side must find the delicate balance between attack and defence ahead of their clash with Brisbane.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond believes his side must find the delicate balance between attack and defence ahead of their clash with Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

The Jets have conceded 16 goals this season and are yet to keep a clean sheet. However, they-ve proven to be prolific down the other end of the pitch so far in 2012/13 with the equal-second highest number of goals scored after eight rounds.

Van Egmond said he expected Saturday-s encounter with the Roar to be another open contest, but said the Jets would be looking to tighten up their leaky defence.

“I think both teams have issues in regards to their defence, but that-s probably because we like to play open football,” van Egmond.

“Because both teams play quite open, it-s difficult on the transition and you can get caught.

“We-re working on that a lot, but we-re working on it to ensure we keep on scoring goals as well. I think that-s also important from an entertainment point of view.

“I don-t think Members and supporters want to come and watch a team that is well and truly defence orientated, but at the same token, there-s defence orientated and there-s leaking goals for fun. We have to find that happy balance.”

The Jets have an imposing record against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium, having only lost there once in 10 outings.

However, van Egmond said he expected nothing less than another difficult encounter.

“There are certain teams that match-up quite well and there are certain teams that don-t match-up so well,” he said.

“It just seems to be the case that we do match-up well against Brisbane.

“We-re not taking that for granted, we-re working very hard this week and tomorrow and Friday we-ll look at exactly what we-re looking to do against Brisbane.

“They-re a similar team to last year, but in saying that they have a different coached who-s tweaked things a little bit differently to what they had before. We have to adjust to that.

“We know we-re going to be in for a very hard game. They-re the reigning Champions two years in a row.

“They-re going through a little bit of a rough trot right at the moment, but you don-t suddenly become a bad team overnight.”

Brisbane could be without Matt Smith, Ivan Franjic and Ben Halloran if the trio are selected to be a part of the final 20-man Socceroos squad for the East Asian Cup qualifiers. Adam Taggart is the only Jets player in contention for the squad.

However, van Egmond said the Jets wouldn-t be taking the Roar lightly even if they are missing some personnel.

“They-ve got a number of players in the Socceroos squad who might be lucky enough to make that final 20 and not be available for this weekend,” he said.

“From our point of view, you don-t win two championships just with the bare eleven so we know they-re going to be a really difficult proposition on their home turf because they-re desperate for points as well.

“We have to go up there with the mindset that-s it-s going to be a tough game and we have to be mentally ready to play and adjust to anything that they throw at us to ensure we get the three points.”