Jets looking to go back to basics

Ryan Griffiths says the Jets will look to do a better job of executing what they worked on in pre-season against Melbourne Heart.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets forward Ryan Griffiths says the Jets will look to do a better job of executing the things they worked on in pre-season when they take on Melbourne Heart at AAMI Stadium on Saturday.

The Jets worked tirelessly during a long pre-season to implement the high-pressing, possession-based philosophy of Jets head coach Gary van Egmond.

The late arrival of marquee striker Emile Heskey prompted them to make slight adjustments in order to accommodate the numerous strengths of the former England international.

However, Griffiths said that the temptation for Jets players to over-utilise their world-class teammate had caused them to drift away from their original game plan at times.

“Of course with Emile coming in - and it-s been with the same at Sydney FC with Del Piero - you have to adjust,” Griffiths said.

“We-ve adjusted, but now we-re playing a totally different style of football and we-ve gone away from the good, attractive football we were playing in pre-season.

“Sometimes it-s an easy option when you have a target man like Emile to just put it forward to him.

"I don-t think we-re over doing it, but it-s like when we decide to play, we-re not doing what we normally do.

“It-s just going back to the basics and getting back to the way that Gary wants us to play.

“He has drilled it into our heads how he wants us to play and we were doing such a good job (in pre-season), so it-s definitely something we-ve got to go back to and start doing again.”

Griffiths said the entire Jets playing group had been stung by their 3-0 loss at home to Wellington Phoenix last Sunday and were eager to bounce back against Melbourne Heart this weekend.

“I don-t think we were too pleased with the result. They-re our bogey team and it was time for us to redeem ourselves and actually go ahead and win that game,” Griffiths said.

“Everything was there for us to win it, but we just couldn-t do it.

“The reaction is we can-t wait for the next game and we-re looking forward to going down to Melbourne and justifying ourselves.

“We know they-re going to be fighting and hungry for this game just as we are.

“It-s going to be an interesting battle and I-m sure they-re going to come out with all guns blazing because they didn-t have a good result last week and we-ve got to be ready for that.”

Following the loss to the Phoenix, van Egmond indicated he would consider making changes to the team for the game against the Heart.

Griffiths said he expected a tough week of training with every member of the squad looking to put their hand up for selection.

“With the squad we have, it-s so deep that I think everyone should be fighting for their positions,” he said.

“I-m sure this week at training it-s going to be a real test and a lot of the players are going to have to step up a notch.

“It-s all about getting the best players in there that want to play and hopefully we can get that for the weekend.”