As we approach the halfway point of the Hyundai A-League season, points are becoming an ever-increasingly valuable commodity.
There aren’t many tougher assignments than a roadtrip to Melbourne to take on Victory, but it’s one which the Jets are circling as an opportunity to take three points.
With 12 points from as many games so far this season, taking the full three points whenever and wherever possible is now becoming a necessity rather than a luxury.
GEORGIEVSKI: A Melbourne homecoming
The game was in Jets hands last weekend up until the 25th minute with the sending off and penalty against Newcastle, down in Melbourne against City.
A 2-1 defeat stung but given how well the side battled and how close we were to taking three points in adverse circumstances, it’ll have given the boys and fans alike a good confidence boost coming into this Saturday night.
Our opponents, Victory, come into this one off the back of a 2-0 loss to Adelaide United on Wednesday night.
They battled against Wanderers the previous weekend too, and are currently without two key internationals in Keisuke Honda and Georg Niedermeier.
After a good week in training and the nod from the medical department, Glen Moss is back in the mix to reclaim his spot between the sticks on Saturday.
He will have to fight hard though - a pair of stellar performances from Lewis Italiano will hold him in good stead.
Ronny Vargas is out this weekend, serving a one-week suspension after his red card last Sunday against City.
There are a number of returning names to the squad, with Angus Thurgate, Mitch Austin, and Ivan Vujica all back in the mix for the squad of 16 this weekend.
It’s also an important milestone for Newcastle defender, Daniel Georgievski. Against his old club, Victory, the fullback will make his 100th Hyundai A-League appearance.
From the captain
“The spirit and the character the boys showed [last weekend] to go out in the second half and create good chances… was pleasing,” Nigel Boogaard said.
“It’s pleasing that we’re getting into goalscoring areas, but we need to be a bit more clinical and take them when they do arise. It alleviates a lot of pressure off the team defensively and changes the complexion of the match if you score first.
“We’re back in Melbourne, it’s a good opportunity to play one of the bigger teams and put ourselves to the test.
“Ronny is a big plus for us when he does play, but last season we went the majority of the year without him. The boys are thankful when he’s on the park, but we’ve got quality to come on.
“You always want to play against the best teams and the best players, and make sure that you’re playing against what they’re going to put out on the park at the end of the season.”