Newcastle Jets’ head coach Phil Stubbins has hinted that his side will come out firing as they get closer to their first win of the season at home against Adelaide United this Friday night.
One could forgive Stubbins if his side were to be a little tentative heading into this game without a win against the newly crowned FFA Cup champions.
Although coming off a solid performance against Perth last weekend, and with everything to gain, all indications from Stubbins are pointing towards a fearless performance this weekend at Hunter Stadium.
“We actually went at Perth,” said Stubbins
“We were congratulated after the game (for that), and we thought we were quite good at doing that and pretty efficient.”
What’s more is that the Jets’ manager appeared to be somewhat taken aback at the suggestion that his side may look to dig in against Adelaide rather than play with purpose, a clear indication his side may be geared for a big performance.
Stubbins has also suggested players like Mitch Cooper, Allan Welsh and Ben Kantarovski may find themselves in the selection fray as the Jets start looking to new avenues for their first win.
“We’ve not really got ourselves in a position to keep going on with things, and unfortunately we’ve had the injuries that have compounded our problems of getting a settled team on the pitch.
“We’ve got quite a few players missing and experienced heads - under these circumstances you would say we certainly need - that are not going to be available.
“So is it youth and exuberance that we bring to the fray? Could be…but there will be some fresh faces I’ll tell you.”
Despite this new way of thinking, the daunting challenge of beating Adelaide has not been lost on Stubbins.
Adelaide United are one of the most attacking minded sides in the A-League and were crowned FFA Cup champions on Tuesday night, so Stubbins believes the loss of captain and centre-back, Kew Jaliens and key defender, Taylor Regan will make the task more difficult, but definitely possible.
“I think they’ve changed a lot of things in how they play,” said Stubbins.
“They’ve certainly got a more balanced outfit now, their defensive record would suggest that, they’re not as exposed as they used to be defensively.
“But look, they’ve still got chinks there which are still available and accessible to any team that is able to probe those gaps…and they lost last week, so we look forward to playing them.”
The match will also mark the 10 year anniversary game of two foundation clubs who played in the first round of the inaugural A-League season, a milestone that will add to the occasion of an already important game for the Jets.
“We were speaking on the plane home from Perth, 10,000 members, we’ve got a fantastic supporter base.“We need the supporters to be there and helping us get over the line and putting in a shift for them, and without their support…it’s going to be very difficult.”