Newcastle Jets midfielder Jacob Pepper believes the Jets must take a page from Perth Glory’s book and look to emulate the ruthlessness of the league leaders when the two sides meet at nib Stadium on Friday night.
The Jets head to Perth still looking for their first victory of the 2014/15 Hyundai A-League season and Pepper says the squad is keen to get their season back on track against the high flying Glory.
“Perth have had a tremendous start to the season as they find ways to win the game,” Pepper said.
“If they’re down they find ways to score and if they’re up they find a way to graft till the end and hang on to the result, and that’s something we need to work on.
“If we can do that hopefully we can change our ways and keep on moving forward.”
The Jets were defeated by Wellington Phoenix 3-1 last Saturday after conceding three goals in five minutes and Pepper says the team needs to remained focus if they’re to avoid a similar result against the Glory.
“That’s the fifth time we’ve let a lead slip and we’ve got to stay together as a team and try and work out what the problem is,” Pepper said.
“We go ahead during the match and in the final twenty minutes we seem to lose it and we’ll keep working on that on the pitch.
“Maybe it’s a mentality thing but the boys will stay together and stay positive and try to get a win this weekend.”
But the Newcastle local boy says there is no lack of desire among the playing roster and there is plenty of intensity being shown at training.
“Everyone is a bit frustrated and to see the intensity on the pitch in training it’s a good sign that people want to win,” Pepper said.
“The team’s definitely got winning spirit and we’ve got to show that on the weekend.”
The Jets and Glory squared off in Round 4 where the Jets were defeated 2-1 after claiming a 1-0 lead and Pepper, who came on in place of Billy Celeski early in the Phoenix match, says they’re focused on not having a repeat result.
“Last time we travelled over there I thought we did well as a team to go one nil up but we couldn’t find a way to secure the lead,” Pepper said.
“But this time the boys are going to be switched on and if we go one nil up we’re not going to let them take it this time.
“Last weekend I hope I showed the Gaffer some fighting spirit and obviously the loss didn’t help, but hopefully I did enough in the middle to get another spot on the park this weekend.”