Newcastle Jets captain Nigel Boogaard says that while the team was naturally disappointed to fall to Sydney FC late in the piece on Saturday afternoon, the squad is more focused than ever and keen to welcome defending Champions Melbourne Victory to Hunter Stadium on Friday night.
Due to suspension Boogaard was forced to watch from the sideline as Sydney FC skipper Alex Brosque’s 89th minute goal stole a narrow 1-0 victory for the Sky Blues.
The imposing centre-back admitted he wished he had been out there to help his team but said the squad had a lot to be proud of in their gutsy loss to last season’s Grand Finalists.
“It’s tough to have to sit back and not be able to help the lads out,” Boogaard said following training on Tuesday.
“But in saying that they [the team] did exceptionally well to hold Sydney out for as long as they did considering the fire-power they have in their squad.
“It’s a credit to the boys and to the mentality that’s starting to be instilled at this club.
“[It was] disappointing to concede in the end but overall there’s a lot of positives to take out of the game,” he said.
The experienced Hyundai A-League defender said the unscheduled plan to watch from the stands allowed him to get an even clearer picture of the Jets’ new mentality.
“It’s a different perspective when you’re not out there having to run around … you can see the whole game,” Boogaard explained.
“So in a sense it was good to be taken out of the game and to sit up in the stands where you can see the discipline and shape from the boys.
“It’s all positives to take out of the game and if we can rectify a few of those little mistake it will go a long way to getting a result against Victory,” he said.
Boogaard said that the Jets had spent no time dwelling on the defeat to Sydney FC given they’ll welcoming arguably the best attacking team in the league to Hunter Stadium this Friday.
“Each week we’re primarily concentrating on what we need to do as a team,” Boogaard said.
“There are small details to each opponent, they play differently and they have different structures.
“Though if you concentrate too much on the opposition it’s a negative mindset and you obviously respect the opposition but ultimately it’s about what we can control.”
The Jets skipper said that even though the match against last year’s Premiers and Champions, Melbourne Victory, looks set to be their toughest test so far this season, the squad is not intimidated by the Victory’s pedigree and will be primed for the fight on Friday night.
“As the coach said to us ‘it’s a big game with last years Champions coming here’ and the onus is on us to take it to them,” Boogaard explained.
“The group we’ve got at the moment has got the drive and the belief and it’s now just proving it on the park.
“It was a great turnout for our first home game – 12,000 – and I’m sure there will be the same there, if not more, on Friday night,” Boogaard concluded.\Newcastle Jets vs. Melbourne Victory – Hyundai A-League 2015/16 Round 3
Friday 23 October 2015
Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
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