“Hopefully the home crowd can be our 12th man and help us get the win,” Gary van Egmond said.
Coach Gary van Egmond hopes home crowd will help the Newcastle Jets this Saturday when they host Adelaide United, who are sitting in second position, at Hunter Stadium.
The Jets are sitting in eighth position but remain positive ahead of Saturday-s Round 15 clash.
“We are two points out of fifth position, we are still in contact, but the longer you stay out the harder it becomes and the more catch up you have to play and that is the last thing you want,” van Egmond said after the final training session on Friday.
“We have to play well on Saturday night and get at Adelaide; really force the issue and put them on the back foot.
“You can see we can play; can knock the ball around, score and make opportunities but we have to take the ascendency first and that is what we want to try and do against Adelaide.
“Hopefully the home crowd can be our 12th man and help us get the win.”
With the Jets defence coming under fire, the coach said while it was important to rectify the problem, they can-t just focus on that part of their game.
“We are in a position where we will keep on working on our defence,” the coach said.
“You can become too mindful and players become fearful of it, so it is something we have identified but we aren-t focusing wholly and solely on it because we will lose other aspects of our game.”
The Jets lost their last match against Adelaide 2-0 in a forgettable season opening game at Hunter Stadium.
The coach disagreed with the suggestion that this game was about redemption for Mark Birighitti, who was red carded playing against his former club.
“ I think this game for Mark is about building on what he is doing with his game,” van Egmond said.
“He had a set back with the injury and now he is getting more game time experience, so the more than occurs the better he will be.
“I don-t think he has to look at this game in any special way, it is more a case of just building on his performances.”
The Jets will go into the game without Jobe Wheelhouse (knee) and Dominik Ritter (hamstring), while Scott Neville (tight hamstring) will be given more time to prove his fitness.
“Dominik still isn-t 100 per cent will that hamstring, it is a little bit tight and the last thing we want is for it to go and it be a 4-6 week injury so we are taking extra precaution with him,” van Egmond explained.
The Jets will finalise their starting eleven 90 minutes prior to kick off on Saturday. Gates open at 4.30pm, kick off is at 5.30pm at Hunter Stadium.