Josh Mitchell says the Jets' upcoming trial matches will provide the Club with the ideal build-up to the 2012/13 season.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets defender Josh Mitchell says the Club-s upcoming trial matches against A-League opposition will provide the Jets with the ideal build-up to the start of the 2012/13 season.
Saturday-s match against Brisbane Roar in Tamworth is the first of four pre-season fixtures the Jets will play before they commence their A-League season against Adelaide United at Hunter Stadium on October 7.
“We-re still a bit far away from the season beginning to take a whole lot out of the game, but it is a bit of an adjustment period with a run of games against hard teams and hopefully we can build-up from game to game,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said the extra match practice would help the Jets players fine-tune their style of play and build chemistry on the pitch.
“Regardless of what system we use or who plays, it-s more about everyone understanding their role so we can build a positive performance into the next games coming up,” he said.
“Obviously we-ve had a lot of time training and not so many games against quality A-League opposition.
“But we-ve had six-week blocks followed by a week off so people are rejuvenated and ready to build-up to the first game of the season.”
Mitchell said he didn-t feel any additional responsibility to marshall the Jets- backline despite fellow centre-back Tiago Calvano suspended for the remainder of the pre-season.
Mitchell believes the whole Jets squad will step up as a collective unit to cover any losses through injury and suspension throughout the season.
“It doesn-t really matter how old someone is, guys like Taylor Regan, Ben Kantarovski and Scott Neville have all played a lot of games,” he said.
“Just because they-re five years younger than me doesn-t mean they can-t step up and be leaders as well.
“With Tiago out and a couple of other injuries, we need everyone to step up.”
One player who Mitchell believes has already begun to step up and adapt to his new surroundings is Brazilian import Bernardo Ribeiro.
“He-s done well to come in and adjust to the hard training,” Mitchell said.
“They haven-t taken it easy on him and he-s getting used to the Australian football and the way things are here.
“It-s a different game to probably what he-s used to. You can see him really staring to adjust to that.”
Having gone up against Ribeiro in training, Mitchell is confident the former Flamengo player can be a threat to opposition defences this season.
“He-s got very good technique and one on one is probably his best strength,” Mitchell said.
“If you get him in the final third against a player he is very difficult to contain. He goes past people pretty quickly and obviously that can create plenty of problems for defenders.”