Mitchell: A good start is key

Newcastle Jets defender Josh Mitchell believes a good start is crucial against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets defender Josh Mitchell believes a good start is crucial against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

After a less than ideal beginning to last week-s 3-3 draw with Melbourne Heart, Mitchell said Newcastle were determined to start their Round 9 fixture against the Roar on a more positive note.

“I think it-s more up to the individuals, probably the defenders in general to be a bit more focused,” Mitchell said.

“It-s up to the boys to start better and be better prepared for the game.

“I-ve been through this situation before where you-re conceding two or three goals a game and then all of a sudden, one little thing clicks and you-re not conceding goals anymore.

“You could say it-s individual (mistakes) but I think it-s more of a concentration thing from the whole team and being able to really focus on what we-re doing, how we-re pressing and how we-re defending as a team.”

Brisbane currently sits in second-last place on the A-League ladder after a run of poor results and Mitchell said it was important the Jets started well to stop the Roar from building confidence.

“Obviously the results aren-t going their way at the moment, and that-s tough to deal with, especially after they-ve had so many good seasons in a row,” he said.

“I think they-re down on their luck a bit and we-ll be looking to take advantage of that and prey on their lack of confidence if they have any.”

Despite Brisbane-s lowly position on the ladder after two years of dominating the competition, Mitchell said he expected them to provide Newcastle with a stern test.

“I think they-re similar (to last season), the players haven-t changed a lot,” he said.

“They-re a little bit different in how they play, but they-ve still got a lot of quality and they-re definitely one of the harder teams to play against.”

Mitchell said a lack of experience in the Jets- backline wasn-t the reason for the number of goals they are conceding.

“Scott Neville has played more A-League games then me, Dom Ritter is an accomplished player and Connor Chapman has represented Australia in the under 20-s,” Mitchell said.

“They-re all experienced in different ways and Matt Nash as well has been around and is a good communicator.”

Mitchell said he felt more than comfortable having Nash behind him protecting the goals.

“To be honest I-ve been told a lot about Nashy through the boys that were here last year and they-ve all raved about him and his performances,” he said.

“You can see that in training with his shot-stopping, in one-on-ones and his communication. They-re all top-drawer qualities that he has so it-s been an easy transition to have him in goals.”