Jets looking to lift against Heart

Gary van Egmond believes if the Jets are to qualify for the A-League finals it is crucial they win their remaining home matches.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond believes if the Jets are to qualify for the A-League finals it is crucial they win their remaining home matches, starting this weekend against Melbourne Heart.

The Jets dropped out of the top six following their 2-1 loss to Western Sydney Wanderers at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday night.

However, they can ensure they make an immediate return to the playoff spots by securing all three points against the Heart this Friday.

“All the teams that you play in and around that fifth through to tenth spot I think if you-re at home, you really need to make sure you maximise your home games and get three points,” van Egmond said.

“We play Heart next week and we-ll dust ourselves off and regroup and get ready for it.

“They-re in the same boat, they have to try and beat us because they-re in a similar position.

“That fifth to sixth spot, I don-t think that-s going to be resolved realistically until the last round and you can see it unfolding that way.”

Van Egmond said the Jets would have to be more clinical in front of goal against the Heart than they were against the Wanderers.

“We had some good opportunities to score, but we didn-t take advantage of that,” he said.

“I think in saying that, (Western Sydney) were by far the better team in the first half.

“In the second half we arrested a few of the issues that were occurring in the first half and I thought overall we were more in control of the game, but we-re just lacking that killer punch in the front third.

“It-s just a matter of us taking chances. If we take those chances we-re obviously going to be a lot better on the scoreboard.

“Performance-wise, it was OK, I-m not going to say it was fantastic, but I think it was OK.”

To potency the Jets more potency in the attacking half of the pitch, van Egmond indicated he may look to give Adam Taggart more game time in coming weeks, with the Young Socceroo looking lively after coming off the bench against the Wanderers.

“I also think we need to get more, what I would call natural goal scorers within the team to play in that front third,” van Egmond said.

“I think with people like Adam Taggart, we need to definitely try and find a place for him within that 11.”