Nash backing Jets defence

Matt Nash says the Jets gained plenty of confidence from their improved defensive effort against Brisbane Roar last Saturday.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Matt Nash says the Jets gained plenty of confidence from their improved defensive performance against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium last Saturday night.

The Jets are still yet to keep an opponent scoreless this season following their 1-0 loss to Brisbane.

However, Nash said he felt the Jets were getting closer to their first clean sheet after the Roar were only able to find a way past him via the penalty spot.

“All the boys in front of me did a pretty good job of defending so I didn-t have a lot to do,” Nash explained.

“I made a couple of saves in the second half, but that was about it really.

“As far as our defensive shape goes I think we were pretty good so it made my job a lot easier.”

Despite the loss, Nash said the Jets would use the positive aspects of their performance against Brisbane as inspiration for this weekend-s F3 Derby clash with the Central Coast Mariners at Hunter Stadium.

“The Mariners are definitely a good team,” Nash said.

They-ve been playing well every week and they-re probably the most consistent team in the competition so it-ll definitely be a tough game

“We-re at home and I think we did alright (against Brisbane) last week so we-ll take something positive out of that game, so it-ll be a good game.”

Nash won-t have centre-back Josh Mitchell playing in front of him this week, with the ex-Perth Glory man to miss the match through suspension. Nash said Mitchell-s absence wouldn-t alter the Jets- style of play.

“Everyone plays a bit different, but as far as the team is set-up, it-s pretty much the same every week,” he said.

“I think we-ll keep the same shape as far as I know, but I-m not sure who will step in for Josh.”

While the Jets will be without Mitchell, the Mariners will be missing playmaker Tom Rogic and shot-stopper Matt Ryan who are away with the Socceroos.

“I think Arnie-s got a pretty good set-up there where their players just slot in and out,” Nash said.

“They-ve got a few good players that he can sit on the bench every week. They-ve got a good squad with plenty of depth, so I don-t think that will worry them too much.”

Nash said he is enjoying his injury-cover stint with the Jets and is hopeful it will lead to a more permanent role in the A-League.

“I-ve been working pretty hard in the off-season away from here keeping fit, and since I-ve come back in here I-ve had a couple of weeks of training under my belt which has helped,” he said.

“I-m here until early January; it just depends on the other boys- injuries and how they pull up.

“I still want to play football and that-s my first choice for everything really.

“Personal training is just something I do on the side, so if something (permanent) came up, I-d jump at the chance.”

It is a double-header at Hunter Stadium this Saturday night. The Jets Youth team play the Central Coast Mariners Youth team prior to the A-League F3 Derby clash at 7.45pm.

Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners Saturday, December 8 Gates open: 4.50pm National Youth League kick-off: 5pm A-League kick-off: 7.45pm Venue: Hunter Stadium Tickets from PROticket

Limited parking will be available for purchase at the car park entrances on game days for the remainder of the Jets 2012/13 season. Whilst there will be parking available for purchase, Hunter Venues does encourage patrons to pre-purchase their parking tickets at a PROticket outlet or online at www.proticket.com.au as parking is subject to availability.