Newcastle Jets midfielder Jacob Pepper says the Club cannot afford to dwell on Easter Monday’s frustrating 2-0 loss to Perth Glory at Hunter Stadium with Friday night’s encounter against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park already fast approaching.
The Jets created an abundance of opportunities to score against the purple-whites on home turf, but simply could not manage to beat experienced custodian Danny Vukovic in the Glory goal.
Having dominated large periods of their last two encounters against high-flying, trophy-hunting outfits Adelaide United and Perth Glory, Pepper admitted the Jets’ round 24 defeat felt a little like ‘groundhog day’.
But the tattooed 22-year-old said the onus remains on the Club’s players to ensure they capitalise on their opportunities to ensure that winnable games don’t slip from the squad’s grasp.
“We had so many chances, we just didn’t take them,” Pepper said of the Glory game. “That’s the difference at this point in time – if we take them chances then the scoreline would have been a huge difference. That’s what we have to work on on the training pitch and fix for the rest of the season.”
“We’ve been working hard on the pitch, especially in the front third. Their [the Club’s coaches] message is that we’ve just got to bury our chances. You saw last night how many chances we had and we didn’t take. It’s been the story the last couple of weeks so that’s something that we’ve got to work on and take into next year.”
“We’ve only got a three day turnaround so we’ve got to switch on again, get prepared, and travel over to Melbourne and put in a good shift.”
“They [Melbourne Victory] are dangerous and they’re in good form at the moment. But we’ve always played good at AAMI Park.”
Interestingly enough, both of Jacob Pepper’s Hyundai A-League goals came against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park in the same match.
Pepper’s double helped the Jets to a 3-1 win that day, with a certain Harry Kewell scoring and missing penalties in the encounter.
Pepper is likely to start against Melbourne Victory on Friday.
Rewind to Pepper's double against Melbourne Victory in 2012 at top.