Preparation key ahead of clash with high-flying Phoenix

Newcastle Jets assistant coach Michael Bridges says the Jets are well aware of the danger posed by an in-form Wellington Phoenix outfit ahead of Saturday’s clash at Hunter Stadium.

Wellington notched an impressive 5-1 win over Melbourne City at Wetspac Stadium last weekend.

Bridges said Wellington’s unpredictability and potency on the counter-attack were the main threats that the Jets would have to be prepared for.

“We know they’re a good team, they’ve got players in the front third that can hurt you,” Bridges said.

“They rotate really well, because they don’t play a structured 4-3-3, they change it up a little bit.

“Burns drifts in off the right hand side and causes the fullback and centre-half a few problems and McGlinchey drops in short as a number 10.

“We’ve done some analysis on them and we’re going to sit down with the boys tomorrow and look at where we can break them down.”

Bridges said he felt the Jets were getting closer to achieving their first win of the Hyundai A-League season after back-to-back draws in the past fortnight.

“We all want to get three points, the players, the staff, the public and all the Members who are supporting us,” Bridges said.

“There’s no denying it has been frustrating, but we’ve got to try and put a positive spin on it as much as we can.

“The performances are getting better and better each week and the lads are growing with that."

Bridges said the Jets would benefit from a number of players receiving more match time is recent weeks.

“The plus for us is that a lot of the lads got minutes under their belts… guys like (Billy) Celeski, (Marcos) Flores and (Adrian) Madaschi who missed chunks of the pre-season with injury.

“We know we’ve got some things to work on before Wellington, but the positives are there.

“Bit by bit the jigsaw is coming together. If we want to be negative, roll over and be easy beats, there’s no point even trying. That’s not our mentality.”

Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix

Saturday, December 6

Hunter Stadium

Kick-off 5pm

Tickets available from Ticketmaster.