Pepper looking to cement role

Jacob Pepper says he hopes to make the right-back position his own over the remainder of the 2013/14 season.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets midfielder turned defender Jacob Pepper says he hopes to make the right-back position his own over the remainder of the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League season.

Pepper has started every match at right-back for the Jets since incumbent Scott Neville ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) against Melbourne Victory in Round 9.

Pepper said he was relishing the opportunity to get regular game time in Neville-s absence.

“Coming in at right back has been a good thing for me, as unfortunate as it was for Scott Neville to get injured,” Pepper said.

“I wish Scott all the best, but that-s football and now I-ve got a couple of games to try and take my chance and hopefully cement my place in there.

“I think transitioning from midfielder to right-back, there-s always going to be a few mistakes.

“I-ve been working at it on the training pitch and trying to adapt and Gary and the assistant coaches have helped me a lot as well.”

Pepper said he remained focus on building combinations with the players around him as he continued to adjust to his new role.

“Definitely at this point in time I-m building a good relationship with Taylor Regan,”

“He is the right-sided stopper and it-s important that both of us work well together in defence.

“Obviously I also need to have a good combination with whoever is playing in front of me, whether it-s Nathan Burns or Andrew Hoole so we can be strong going forward as well.”

Pepper said the Jets were expecting a tough test when they face Perth Glory at Hunter Stadium this afternoon.

“If you look at the ladder, every team in the completion is tough to beat, so we know it-s going to be a tough clash, but we-re confident we can get the three points,” Pepper said.

“We go into every game the same, it doesn-t matter who they field because we know we have a job to do.

“They played four or five days ago so they might be a bit flat and hopefully we can counteract that.”

Pepper said a good result against Perth was important to help the Jets to find some consistent form.

“When you-re winning one week and losing the next week, there-s always going to be questions to be asked, but it-s probably just a lack of consistency,” Pepper said.

“We-ve got a young team and that-s always going to be challenge, but we-re working hard week-in, week-out and hopefully we can get a few wins on the board.”

Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory Saturday, January 4 Hunter Stadium Kick-off 5.30pm Tickets available from PROticket.