Craig Deans says there is no room for complacency within the Jets' squad ahead of Friday’s clash with Melbourne Heart.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets assistant coach Craig Deans says there is no room for complacency within the Jets squad ahead of Friday night-s clash with bottom-placed Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park.
The Heart are without a win in their past 19 Hyundai A-League matches and Deans said it was crucial the Jets start Friday-s contest in a positive fashion in order to stop their opponents gaining any confidence.
“We go there knowing it-s a really tough game and one where we-ll need to be at our best to get something out of,” Deans said.
“If we let the Heart build a little bit of confidence that-s probably the worst thing that we can do.
“We need to go out there and assert ourselves right from the start and make them uncomfortable and keep the doubt in their mind.”
Despite the Heart-s lowly position on the Hyundai A-League ladder, Deans said it was important the Jets take nothing for granted against their opponents on Friday night.
“I thought the Heart were quite good on the weekend against Perth Glory, bar Shane Smeltz coming off the bench and scoring two goals from two opportunities for Perth,” Deans said.
“The Heart had some chances, they hit the bar and they created a little bit.
“Harry Kewell is starting to look dangerous again and they obviously feed a lot off how he performs each week and he-s getting better and better.
“If we go there with the mindset that it-s just an easy opportunity for us to go and pick three points, that-s going to be something that will probably bite us on the backside.”
While new signing Joel Griffiths is unlikely to be available to face the Heart, Deans indicated that both Nick Ward could be in-line to play his first minutes in Jets colours.
“This week is the first time Nick has been up with the rest of the boys as far as fitness goes,” Deans said.
“We had a hard session on Monday and he came through quite well. He-s another option for this weekend and it-s good timing with the fact that Nathan Burns has gone for now.
“Hopefully Wardy can put his hand up and be available as well.”
Meanwhile, the Jets are also set to receive a boost with Kew Jaliens returning from suspension .
“He-s a very important player for us and it-s always nice to have people with that quality in the team,” Deans said.
“We say it every week, but it just adds a little bit of confidence and self-belief to everyone.
“Away games in particular, you need to have people like Kew in the team.”