NEWS: Rising expectations OK by Boogaard

Newcastle Jets skipper Nigel Boogaard says he welcomes the renewed expectations around the club this season and is relishing his time at the heart of the team’s backline.

The Novocastrian says that on the back of Jets’ rapid start to the season the Newcastle faithful once again have excited ambitions for the club.

“[Expectations] are a positive thing and it is welcomed pressure as a footballer,” Boogaard said.

“You always like to have that pressure from the local community and your fans as they want you to achieve and excel.

“So we’ve laid a platform that is a bare minimum for us.

“That commitment you’ll see on the field week in and week out and as long as we give that I’m sure the results will come,” he said.

Despite coming off the back of a brave 3-2 fight back against Melbourne City last round to claim a third victory in four matches, the central defender says there is room for improvement.

“Our defence has been pleasing so far but there is always room for improvement,” Boogaard explained.

“We conceded two soft goals on the weekend from our point of view … albeit from two deflections.

“Our focus as a back six is to keep clean sheets and until we do that regularly we won’t be satisfied.

“It’s pleasing we haven’t conceded a lot but we can definitely be better,” he said.

Boogaard said that while the Jets’ start to the season is encouraging, there is room to improve more and more with each match.

“We can improve massively, at the moment we’re using the building blocks,” Boogaard said.

“Last year we conceded too many goals and that’s a focal point for us to start with … we need to keep ourselves in games.

“The longer you can keep a clean sheet the more opportunity you give your attackers a chance to win the game for you.

“Throughout the year you’ll see that platform where we are hard to break down, but we’ll also get better with the ball and create more chances and score more goals.”

Turning his attention to Saturday’s massive match against Western Sydney Wanderers at Hunter Stadium, Boogaard said that even though the Jets respect what their opponents have to offer, the team is determined to control its own fate on the pitch.

“The Wanderers are a good side and you’ve got to respect what they bring to the table,” Boogaard said.

“They’ve got some quality and it was good to see Dario Vidosic back in thick of things [last round] as I played with him a Adelaide United and he’s a great talent.

“But ultimately it’s on us and the way we set up.

“If we concentrate on our structure it will come down to us and how we play,” he said.

Kick-off against Western Sydney Wanderers at Hunter Stadium on Saturday is at 5:15pm.

Click here to access match information, including ticketing details, and Westfield W-League game details.