The Newcastle Jets will enjoy their second consecutive home game as they face the travelling Wellington Phoenix tomorrow night at McDonald Jones Stadium – kick off at 7.50pm.
The visitors will travel across the ditch following a 3 – 3 draw with the Brisbane Roar last start, and will be looking for their first win of the season.
Jets’ boss, Ernie Merrick said their position on the table wasn’t a reflection of the challenge the Phoenix would present his chargers.
“Wellington have shown they can score goals and play free-flowing football up front, having put two past Sydney FC and three in the first half against the Roar last week,” said Merrick.
“From our perspective, they’ve also conceded a few goals, which is something we need to look to exploit, having examined their strengths and weaknesses in our preparations this week.
“They’re desperate for a win, it’s been a tough start to the season for them and we’ll be working hard to close them down, given the quality of their front third.”
Merrick said he was looking for a 90-minute performance form his side, who were guilty of a slow start against the Wanderers in Round 4.
“This week has been about working on our composure on the ball – an area we need to improve – as well as working through the middle a bit more and varying the tempo of our play,” added Merrick.
“We got out of jail last week, having only having conceded one goal in the first half, but we can’t play like that in this competition, you can’t afford to take your foot off the pedal because team will punish you for it.
“Our approach is to maintain a high intensity throughout the match and it’s important we finish as well as we start and vice-versa – we’re fit enough to do that and I think we showed that in the second half against the Wanderers.
“We need to start on the front foot and not give away cheap goals, which has happened a few times this season.
“The boys resilience has always shone through to get back into the contest on each occasion, and I’m proud of the way we’ve always fought to get a result rather than settling for a draw.”
By the numbers:
- Newcastle has lost only one of their last five home games against Wellington (W3, D1), scoring 14 goals across that period.
- Newcastle are undefeated in their last four games (W2, D2), the last time they went longer without a loss was a six- game streak at the end of 2013.
- Newcastle has made 298 passes into the final third this campaign, more than any other team in the competition.
- Wellington has scored four goals in the opening half-hour of games this season; this is a joint-high this season, with Newcastle Jets.
- Roy O’Donovan is set to take to the pitch for his 50th A-League game
Saturday 4 November 2017
Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Kick-Off: 7.50pm (AEDT)
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 501 from 7:30pm (AEDT), ONE from 7:45pm and Sky Sport 1 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: myfootballnation.com (SWR999),1233 ABC Newcastle, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Listen App – A-League Live.
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #NEWvWEL
Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimitri PETRATOS, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Wayne BROWN, 12.Mario SHABOW, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Nick COWBURN, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 19.Kosta PETRATOS 20.Glen MOSS (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 24.Joe CHAMPNESS, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS (promoted), 19.Kosta PETRATOS (promoted), 22.Lachlan JACKSON (promoted)
Outs: 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI (hamstring – 4 weeks)
Unavailable: 8.Ronald VARGAS (ankle – indefinite)
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 2.Daniel MULLEN, 4.Goran PARACKI, 6.Dylan FOX, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Dario VIDOSIC, 9.Andrija KALUDJEROVIC, 10.Michael McGLINCHEY, 11.Hamish WATSON, 12.Adam PARKHOUSE, 14.Alex RUFER, 17.Ali ABBAS, 19.Thomas DOYLE, 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE, 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 24.Logan ROGERSON, 30.Keegan SMITH (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 14.Alex RUFER (promoted), 22.Andrew DURANTE (return from injury), 24.Logan ROGERSON (promoted)
Outs: 3.Scott GALLOWAY (hamstring – 1-2 weeks)
Unavailable: 13.Marco ROSSI (groin, 1 week)