Jets boss Scott Miller says the team is looking in good shape for the fast approaching Hyundai A-League season and a lot of the team’s confidence is being drawn from the club’s supporters.
With just over one month to go before the start of the new season Miller spoke with ABC 1233’s Garth Russell on Tuesday morning and said he was delighted with the support he has received from the Jets faithful since arriving in Newcastle.
“From the outset I wanted to create an environment where the community wanted to support the team,” Miller said.
“The supporters are doing their part so far and we’ve had a lot of people come down to training and watch the team over the weeks.
“That kind of engagement is great and the players have recognised they have a responsibility not just to their career but also to the club.”
Miller said that now the squad was a month out from the new season training dynamics are shifting and the team’s work rate is starting to ramp up.
“Now is a really defining point and we start the final competition phase as we’re just a month out,” Miller explained.
“Although we’ve been focusing on our first game against Wellington Phoenix from the outset you have got to periodise your technical and tactical approach.
“So yesterday [Monday] was that turning point. The players will start wearing shin pads from outset of training now and it’s a different shift in preparation for us (coaching staff).”
Miller also discussed new recruit Leonardo Santiago.
He said the Brazilian is already looking comfortable and confident within the team.
“Leonardo is a fantastic player and he has a great pedigree as footballer as well,” he said.
“These sort of players have a certain confidence about them because they’ve played at the top level and they integrate into the squad very quickly.
“You could see it in his first training session as he was mingling with Labinot Haliti, David Carney and Nigel Boogaard.
“Instantly he was surrounding himself with the senior players, so there is no self-confidence issues with Leonardo.”
The Jets boss said that the ease with which Leonardo is fitting into the squad is encouraging and speaks to the culture that the club is working to foster.
“That’s how I want things to run here… no segregation in the squad,” Miller declared.
“On the trips we’ve been doing the room list so we’re integrating the squad and pairing a young player with a senior player.
“If we’re going to compete as a group we need to be open and inclusive to each other and understand each other as much as possible.”
Turning his attention to this Saturday’s friendly match against the Brisbane Roar in Queensland, Miller explained what he was expecting from the match.
“I’m taking 16 players with me up to Brisbane and we’re treating it like an [Hyundai] A-League game,” Miller said.
“It’s the final stage of our preparation so we need a competitive hit-out and we’ll travel with a strong quad looking to put in a good performance.
“I want to see organisation and structure, and what we’re also seeing now is the players starting to understand their individual roles.
“Some managers like some freedom in their players but for us to be successful this year we need to have clear understanding on the field.”
Saturday 12 September 2015
Friendly: Brisbane Roar vs. Newcastle Jets
Redlands United FC (Waterloo Street, Cleveland, Queensland)