The clash with the Heart is the first of two crucial home matches for the Jets as they look to move back into the top six.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets assistant coach Craig Deans says the Jets are eager to bounce back from Saturday-s loss to Western Sydney Wanderers when they take on Melbourne Heart at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.
The clash with the Heart is the first of two important home matches for the Jets as they look to move back into the top six with seven rounds of the A-League regular season remaining.
Newcastle can leapfrog the Heart with a win on Friday night, while they play fellow finals contender Brisbane Roar in another crucial encounter at Hunter Stadium the following week.
“We-ve got two home games coming up now, so we need to stay positive and look ahead to those and focus on getting three points out of both of those games,” Deans said.
“I think it is four or five points now separating fifth to tenth and there-s not going to be an easy game between now and the last of the regular season games.
“Every game we need to go in there with a real positive attitude and with a mindset that we-re there to get at least a point if not three out of all those games.
“That-s the only way we can approach the rest of the season and if we-re good enough we-ll get there.”
Deans said there was a strong willingness within the Jets playing group to ensure they leave nothing in the tank as they push for a finals berth.
“We were quite proud of the fact that they had gone five games unbeaten, but at the same time we-d only won one of those games, so you can-t get too excited about have four draws in five games,” Deans said.
“The players understand there-s a lot of hard work to be done between now and the end of the season and that-s the attitude we need to have at training as well as the games.”
Young Socceroos Adam Taggart made an impressive impact after coming on as a 62nd minute substitute against the Wanderers last weekend and Deans said the 19-year-old is one player who can give the Jets added spark in attack.
“The main thing with Tags is that he-s energetic,” Deans said.
“During he 25 minutes he played on Saturday night, he got into some good areas, he got us going forward and he-s a good goal scorer.
“We saw a lot of that in pre-season, but we haven-t really seen it so far in the A-League , but I think he-s probably due an opportunity and hopefully he-s someone we can get some goals out of.”
Deans said the Jets may also look to make adjustments to sure up their defence for Friday-s clash with the Heart.
“Taylor Regan and Dominik Ritter played in the youth team on Sunday, so we-ll have a look at that game, look at their performances and talk with (youth team coach) Clayton Zane,” Deans said.
“Obviously we-ve conceded a couple of goals in the last two games which is not what we want, so there might be an opportunity to change something there.”
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Heart Friday, February 15 Hunter Stadium Kick-off 7.30pm (Gates open 6.30pm) Tickets from PROticket.