Gary van Egmond believes the Jets are facing no easy task when they take on the winless Melbourne Heart on Friday night.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond believes the Jets are facing no easy task when they take on the winless Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park on Friday night.
Despite the Heart languishing on the bottom of the A-League table having gone their last 19 competitive matches without a win, van Egmond said the Jets would have to be at their competitive best when the two sides face on Friday night
“It-s such an important game for us to ensure that we get points,” van Egmond said.
“They-re going to be highly motivated because of where they are on the table, regardless of any other statistic.
“For us, we need to be highly motivated because we want to stay in the top six. It-s an important part of the season for us and it will be a good test of our depth like last week was and we need to get points.”
The Jets notched a 3-1 victory when the two sides met at Hunter Stadium earlier in the season, but van Egmond said that result would count for little come the weekend.
“It always gives you confidence when you-ve beaten an opponent, but they-ll be a different proposition on their own turf,” van Egmond said.
“If they-re to turn their season around they need to start taking maximum points at home. We don-t want to be the first team to allow that to happen.
“I thought they were a little bit unlucky against Perth last weekend, that game could have gone either way. Perth scored a couple at the depth that probably didn-t give a true indication of the game.
“John van-t Schip is a very good coach and a very experienced coach so we know we-re going to go down there and have a tough game.”
Van Egmond said it was important the Jets apply a ruthless streak to capitalise on the Heart-s current lack of confidence.
“We need to take our chances and that-s something we haven-t been doing,” he said.
“We-ve had something like 45 shots on goal in our past two games and we-ve scored off an own goal from a set piece.
“We have to become better in recognising the solution to that and we-ve done some work on that again this week.
“All we can do is keep on working on it, instilling some confidence into the boys and ensuring they go out with a positive mindset.”
Van Egmond said a positive result against the Heart would provide a important platform for the sixth-placed Jets to build upon as they look to secure a spot in the Hyundai A-League Finals Series.
“The last thing you want to do towards the end of the season is be in a position where you-ve got to win,” he said.
“You don-t want to be in a position where you-re chasing points at the depth. That happened last year and the year before and it-s not an easy thing to do.
“You can really set yourself up earlier by getting points on the board and making sure you-re in a good position which makes it easier to derive more confidence at the back end of the season.”