Ruben Zadkovich believes the team has a fantastic opportunity to turn their fortunes around in Saturday's F3 Derby.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets Captain Ruben Zadkovich believes the team has a fantastic opportunity to turn their fortunes around against archrivals Central Coast Mariners on Saturday night.
The Jets have slipped to seventh on the ladder after last weekend-s loss to the Melbourne Heart and face both of last season-s grand finalists the Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers in the next two weeks.
But Zadkovich is adamant the team is focused on tackling the Mariners and desperate to get a good result for new interim manager Clayton Zane.
“I think its brilliant, it augers well for a very entertaining game. I think the players are going to have a lot to play for, Clayton-s going to be pretty excited and the club too,” Zadkovich said.
“It-s not hard to get up for a derby so it should be a good game.”
In a timely boost, the Jets are likely to have Adam Taggart, Andrew Hoole, Connor Chapman and Josh Brilliante available for this weekend-s class after the Olyroos bowed out of the AFC U-22 Championships in Oman.
The quartet is set to return to Newcastle on Wednesday evening and will be assessed by the Jets medical staff at training on Thursday.
“I hate to say it but I-m stoked that they lost because I want those boys back, they-re all important players to our squad,” Zadkovich said.
“It-s unfortunate for them in that tournament but it-s a big positive for us.”
The Jets have slumped to four losses from their past five matches which culminated in the mutual termination of coach Gary van Egmond-s contract on Monday.
But Zadkovich believes interim boss Clayton Zane has given the team a fresh start and brought a sense of positivity to the playing group at training.
“It was very bright, very positive, it was a little bit of a refreshing change at training, something different, and Clayton brings a calmness and coolness to the job and it was a really good session,” he said.
“He wants to strip things back, go back to basics and simplify the game plan a little bit. I think that will bring back a little bit of confidence to the team and individuals.”
Although frustrated with the team-s inconsistency, Zadkovich is confident the team has the capability to turn it around and make the finals.
“I think that-s the way the league goes, anyone can beat anyone on their day and we haven-t been good enough to maintain our levels as a playing group so that-s why the performances have been inconsistent,” he said.
“We really need to dig ourselves out of this little bit of a grind that we-ve got ourselves in, we-re definitely capable of doing so and we know that we-ve got the squad that can do it, its just about putting it together.”