Jets seek maximum points at home

Matt Thompson speaks about the Jets upcoming home game against Nagoya Grampus, as the Jets prepare to do battle next Wednesday.

Newcastle Jets captain Matt Thompson believes that a win in next week-s AFC Champions League Matchday 4 fixture against Nagoya Grampus will be a vital ingredient in his side-s tilt at progression through the group stage of the competition.

The Hunter based club secured an impressive 1-all draw away to the J-League giants on Matchday 3 and could have sealed all three points but for a sublime free-kick by Japanese international Keiji Tamada.

It will be that same positive attitude that the Jets showed in Nagoya that Thompson will be looking for when he steps onto the pitch in front of his home faithful.

“Not much should change from the approach to the last game, it-s the same mentality. I think a draw was a good result but we should probably have won the game,” he said.

The Jets will certainly be mindful of the attacking arsenal that Nagoya possess, particularly with their Brazilian pairing of Davi and Magnum along with the talismanic Tamada. Indeed, Davi is currently the J-League-s equal top goalscorer, hitting the back of the net four times in his five appearances this season.

“If we go in there and think we have to score, score, score then they-re going to open us up. It-s very important that we stay disciplined; everyone needs to stay aware of their defensive duties,” explained Thompson.

“At the same time we-ve got to keep the ball and create chances, just like we did in Japan. If we can do that there, then we can definitely do that here. We just need to make sure that we take those chances.”

The home ground advantage will be a factor that the Jets will need to exploit if they are to get maximum points out of next week-s encounter. However, Nagoya are no strangers to big occasions and will be a difficult side to intimidate away from home as they have a crowd average of 23,634 during the current J-League season.

Furthermore, recent disappointing performances on the domestic front will give Nagoya added motivation when they travel down under. The team from the Aichi prefecture was demolished 3-1 by fellow AFC Champions League contestants Kawasaki Frontale earlier this month, and this was followed by a 1-0 loss to powerhouse club Urawa Reds at the weekend.

Never one to back down from a battle, Thompson is determined to lead his teammates to another good performance at Newcastle Stadium for the crucial clash.

“Three points here, especially with another game at home a couple of weeks later, would be a massive boost for us.”

“I think it-s ultra-important because I think our group is the tightest group in the competition at the moment. These next two home games are key for us, but we need to just focus on the next one and if we can get a good result then it puts us in good stead for the remaining two group stage games,” Thompson said.

Tickets for the Jets- AFC Champions League Matchday 4 home game against Nagoya Grampus are available from www.proticket.com.au, or by calling (02) 4915 2345.