Refreshed Newcastle Jets midfielder Mateo Poljak expects the support of club fans at the squad’s final training session ahead of Sunday’s F3 Derby against Central Coast Mariners to provide the team with an additional lift leading into the game.
Newcastle Jets supporters – with the blessing and encouragement of the club – are planning to arrive at Ray Watt Oval at the University of Newcastle en-masse on Saturday in what will be a visual demonstration of their belief in the boys.
Midfield workhorse Poljak, who has played 19 of 20 matches for the club this campaign, will be available for selection this weekend after sitting out last Saturday’s 3-2 win over Wellington Phoenix due to suspension.
And the Jets’ Croatian star expects fond Derby memories from his time with Western Sydney Wanderers to flood back should a strong contingent of Jets fans show their backing for the club at training, and indeed at the match itself.
“I have to admit it [fans at training] does help, and it does give you that extra energy and motivate you a bit more,” Poljak said following Wednesday’s session.
“If you see people coming here willing to support you even in training, that gives you a bit extra spark.”
“You believe that they are going to show up on the major day, and hopefully celebrate with us after the game,” he said.
Poljak said the atmosphere within the playing group leading into Sunday’s contest is good, and while Finals football naturally remains the club’s ambition, the focus is purely on improving performances and winning as many matches as possible – starting with this Sunday’s Derby.
“We want to win every single game that we can,” Poljak explained. “The next one is the most important, and the next one is the Derby.”
“I know it sounds like a cliché but really we are concentrating on one game at a time.”
“The only thing we can do actually is give our best and try to win every single game from our end.”
3 days until the #F3Derby. Push your limits. http://bit.ly/1QfeO97Posted by Newcastle Jets on Wednesday, 24 February 2016
Poljak believes that the Jets have shown throughout the season their ability to trouble strong Hyundai A-League teams, and wants his side to do the business over Tony Walmsley’s men in Gosford.
“We’ve shown against probably better opponents that we can deal with them, that we can hurt them,” he said.
“Not it’s up to us to show that we can take this challenge and show that we can play against lower position teams as well.”
“I think we’re ready, the boys are training really well, and we are up to the challenge.”
Central Coast Mariners vs. Newcastle Jets – Hyundai A-League 2015/16 round 21
When: Sunday 28 February 2016
Where: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Tickets: Please click here to purchase away bay match tickets
Transport: Join the Squadron by catching the train south to Gosford. Squadron will be departing Hamilton (12:40pm), Broadmeadow (12:43pm), Cardiff (12:50pm), Fassifern (1:01pm), arriving into Gosford at 1:50pm
Pre-Match: Join likeminded Jets fans at the Gosford Hotel on Mann Street from 2:00pm onwards
Pre-Match March: March to the Central Coast Stadium from Gosford Hotel at 4:15pm
Social Media: Join the conversation using #F3Derby