Jets must match Phoenix's physicality

Ruben Zadkovich believes the Jets will have to match the commitment and physicality of Wellington at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets midfielder Ruben Zadkovich believes the Jets will have to match the commitment and physicality of Wellington Phoenix when the two sides meet at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.

The Jets will be looking for their third consecutive home win on Sunday afternoon, but Zadkovich knows the Phoenix will be tough to beat despite them sitting in second last place on the A-League ladder.

“Early on in the season it-s hard to get a gauge on any team. The teams at the top aren-t that far away from the teams on the bottom,” Zadkovich said.

“I think if you look at Wellington-s games, they-ve been a bit unlucky. We know they-ve got some really good players and they-re a strong outfit and we know we-re going to be in for a tough game on the weekend for sure.

“They-re a quality side and they have some physical players so we-ll definitely have to match them in that department, the same as any other week.”

Wellington have won all of the last five matches between the two teams, but Zadkovich said that past results won-t be a concern of his on Sunday.

“I can-t speak for everyone, but I don-t really think about it to be honest,” he said.

“It-s just another game and we know we-ve got to be at our best to win and in front of our home fans, that-s definitely what we-ll be looking to do.”

Zadkovich said the Jets would be more focused on ensuring they secure their first clean sheet of the season.

“We can-t go a whole season conceding goals the way we are and expect to win anything. If we want to be right there at the top we really need to tighten up at the back,” he said.

“Wellington at home is probably a good game to look to try and get a clean sheet, because we know if we can do that we can score goals as we-ve proven early on in the season.

“It-s all about keeping our structure and making sure we can try and keep a clean sheet.”

The Jets are enjoying one of their best starts to a season in the Club-s history, but Zadkovich said there are still areas of their game that can get even better.

“Sometimes when you-re playing really well you don-t get results, and other times when you-re not playing so well, but you fight hard, you get results and that-s the way it-s been this year for us,” he said.

“In saying that, we-ve played well in patches in games. I think for 15-minute spells in some of those games, we-ve played outstanding.

“If we can just try and lengthen those periods where we are controlling games, we-ll get more wins and more goals.”

Match details: Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix Hunter Stadium Sunday, November 18 Kick-off 3pm (Gates open 2pm) Tickets available from PROticket

Following the conclusion of Sunday-s fixture, children will have the opportunity to have a kick-around on the Hunter Stadium turf.