Jets not planning to man-mark Del Piero

Gary van Egmond says the Jets won’t look to man-mark Sydney FC’s marquee player Alessandro Del Piero on Saturday.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond says the Jets won-t look to man-mark Sydney FC-s marquee player Alessandro Del Piero when the two sides meet at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.

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Van Egmond said that focusing too much of the Jets- attention on Del Piero would disrupt them from playing their own style of football.

“If you target just one or two of their players and really just try and man-mark them, that can also be detrimental to how you play as well,” van Egmond said

“We know that we can-t give him time on the ball, we know that we have to ensure we limit his decision making and if we do that, we can obviously stop him providing great service to the front people or wherever he-s going to put the ball.

“We have to ensure we definitely close him down quickly, but don-t dive in, don-t get sucked in.

“He-s a wonderful player and it-s great that the Newcastle people are going to be able to see him first hand.”

Van Egmond said the Jets would approach Saturday-s game with a positive fram of mind and look to attack Sydney from the outset.

“We really need to get at Sydney. They-re a team that is equally down on confidence as what we-ve been over the past couple of weeks,” he said.

“We-re at home and we really need to take the initiative and get at them.

“From my point of view, it-s more so about where we play the game and what we try and enforce on Sydney.

“We definitely want to play a high line and force the issue on the opponent in their own half.”

Van Egmond said that the Jets- determination to secure their first clean sheet of the season had seen them lose elements of their attacking focus in recent weeks.

He said Newcastle would look to regain the prolific goal-scoring form they showed early in the season this weekend.

“We looked at it from the point of view of trying to ensure we kept a clean sheet, so we worked quite hard on that, but unfortunately it-s dried up the goals from the other end as well,” he said.

“We-re definitely looking to be more adventurous to ensure that we start putting the ball in the back of the net.”

Ticket sales for Saturday-s game indicate the Jets are on track to record their biggest home crowd since their Championship-winning season in 2007/08.

Van Egmond said the Jets are hoping for a repeat of the first encounter between the two teams, which saw the Jets secure a 3-2 win in front of 35,419 fans at Allianz Stadium.

“It the first time we played them is anything to go by, hopefully it will be another entertaining game,” he said.

“It was an end-to-end game last time with plenty of goals. Both marquees scored and the crowd went home very, very happy.”

Those planning to attend Saturday's game are encouraged to pre-purchase their tickets from PROticket to secure the best seats and avoid queues on the day.

Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC Saturday, December 22 Hunter Stadium Kick-off 5.30pm Tickets from PROticket

Limited parking will be available for purchase at the car park entrances on game days for the remainder of the Jets 2012/13 season. Whilst there will be parking available for purchase, Hunter Venues does encourage patrons to pre-purchase their parking tickets at a PROticket outlet or online at www.proticket.com.au as parking is subject to availability.