Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets assistant coach Craig Deans believes Sunday’s clash against Brisbane Roar at Hunter Stadium is their toughest challenge of the season.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets assistant coach Craig Deans believes Sunday-s clash against Brisbane Roar at Hunter Stadium is their toughest challenge of the season.
Following their breakthrough win in Adelaide on Saturday, the Jets are looking to consolidate their position in the top six with a good result against the ladder leaders.
The Roar are missing a number of players including Liam Miller, Ivan Franjic and Matt Mckay, but Deans was quick to dismiss suggestions they had caught the former champions at the right time.
“Brisbane is always a tough team to play even though they-re a few players short of their best starting eleven, they-re always a tough challenge and they-re a physically fit side,” he said.
“Technically they-re up the top of the league in terms of their style of play.
“But the last two or three times we-ve played them a home there-s only been a goal in it either way, so that-s something that gives us confidence.”
Deans felt the team took confidence from recording their first win of the season but insisted there is plenty of improvement left to do.
“We were always pretty confident that we weren-t too far away from getting our first win of the season, everyone was really happy after the game,” he said.
“It-s another step in the right direction but by no means are we finished with our development and our hard work.”
After opening the season with a loss, the Jets have been undefeated in the four games since and Deans believes the team are starting to hit their straps.
“The mood has been good all year, we had a disappointing start to the season against Sydney, but each week from there we have steadily improved in most areas of our game,” he said.
“To get a win is obviously a big thing, but if you asked most of the players they-ve always been confident in their ability, but winning games you can-t underestimate the boost that gives everyone.”
Deans was adamant that the Jets would not underestimate the Roar despite their missing contingent and would simply focus on what they needed to do.
“I don-t think there-s a game in the A-league you can go into thinking you are going to win. Whether there-s players injured, whether it-s a team at the top or bottom, every game is a real tough game now,” he said.
“We need to take the right approach mentally and make sure that we are spot on with our preparation.”
The Jets host two consecutive home matches against Brisbane and Melbourne Heart in the next fortnight and Deans felt it was important to grab maximum points at Hunter Stadium.
“We-ve got two home games now, the support we got for the mariners game was fantastic and I know that gave the players a big lift,” he said.
“I think if we can get something similar again on Sunday and get a win, keep building momentum and its really important for us to make the most out of all our home games.”