Jets wary of Heart

Coach Gary van Egmond discusses Sunday's clash with the Melbourne Heart at Hunter Stadium.

The Melbourne Heart may be languishing on the foot of the A-League table, but don-t be fooled.

That-s the opinion of Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond heading into Sunday-s Round 7 clash against the struggling Heart at Hunter Stadium.

While the Melbourne based side remains winless this season, van Egmond knows his team can-t afford to be complacent against them.

The Jets coach has no doubts the Heart, led by former Socceroo John Aloisi, will be ready to redeem themselves.

“We-re very wary, ” van Egmond says.

“They-ve got a good roster, and in some ways, they-ve been a little bit unlucky.

“They-re going to be desperate.

"They need to get their season on track sooner rather than later. We know we-re in for a tough game.

"I-m sure that they-re going to look to put on a good display, not only for the coach, but for themselves and pride in the jersey.

“We-re expecting a very difficult game.”

As good as the Jets have been in recent weeks, van Egmond believes this match against the Heart will serve as one of their biggest mental tests.

It-s a match Newcastle is expected to win and the Jets coach insists they must deliver if they have aspirations of being a genuine force this season.

“If you want to be a top four team, you have to keep going and keep raising the standard week in week out,” he says.

“We-re at home, we want to win all our home matches and really turn Hunter Stadium into a real fortress.

“They-re going to be a tough team.

“It-s our job to go out there and really impose ourselves on them.

"It-s an interesting game from the perspective that most media and people outside the game expect us to win.

“And that probably hasn-t happened for us for quite some time in regards to game in this season.

“The expectation is something you have to live with and deal with and you have to still go out there and perform.”

Van Egmond is expecting Harry Kewell to take his place in the Heart line-up, but is more than confident his side can contain the former Socceroo star.

“Those types of players are unpredictable and as we know his pedigree is fantastic,” he says.

“From my point of view, I-m happy if he-s not playing against us.

“If he was, I-m sure we-d still do a good job on him.”

Van Egmond says the Jets will have a few forced changes as a result of the suspension to defender Kew Jaliens and an ankle injury to Connor Chapman, who was ruled out on Friday.

"We-ve tossed up with a couple of pairings," he says.

"Josh Mitchell, Taylor Regan and (Scott) Neville can move central and also Jacob Pepper."

Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Heart, 5pm this Sunday at Hunter Stadium, CLICK HERE for tickets.