The Newcastle Jets will finish their regular season where it started; away to their bitter rivals, the Central Coast Mariners for an #F3Derby.
It’s a match that has plenty of meaning for Ernie Merrick’s side, who have the wood on their opponents in 2017/18 with two wins from as many starts.
The Jets will be looking for a clean sweep of the Mariners on Saturday and are relishing the challenge that a derby presents, as they look to turn around a difficult few weeks before their home Semi Final in just over a fortnight.
Jets’ boss, Ernie Merrick said the clash had come at a good time and will offer his side an opportunity to improve combinations and structures leading into the Final Series.
“It’s the sort of pressure that we need and we will see if we can respond to it, the Mariners boys are full of pride and will no doubt be doing everything they can to beat us,” said Merrick.
“We are responding physically in terms of work ethic (over the last month), but we’re not getting our combinations or structures right – it will be another good challenge for us to prepare for the finals.”
Following a month of poor results that includes three straight losses, the experienced Scotsman said he wouldn’t be changing what has worked for his side for a majority of the season.
“We won’t be making huge changes, we have to get back creating the chances we were in the first three-quarters of the season,” added Merrick.
“The effort and the work-rate is there, it’s really about getting back to that and the players having the confidence to know it will work if they stick to the structure.
“Structurally we need to sort out our midfield, our fullbacks and when they should get forward – as well as that last pass in the final third.”
Daniel Georgievski will return from suspension for the fixture, while Ronald Vargas is an omission from the match day squad due to a minor groin strain. The Venezuelan international will be fit for the club’s Semi Final and is being rested as a precaution.
Full season Jets Members travelling to Central Coast Stadium can access the fixture free of charge, thanks to the clubs reciprocal ticket offer with the Mariners – for more information click here.
By the numbers:
- Newcastle have won four of the last seven F3 Derbies (D2 L1), including each of the last two by a combined score of 7-1.
- The Jets have won three of their last four games against the Mariners at Central Coast Stadium, this after having won only one of their previous 17 games at the venue (D7 L9).
- Dimi Petratos has created 70 scoring chances this campaign, which is more than any other player in the competition and 20 more than Mariners’ best Andrew Hoole (50).
- No team has landed more shots on target this season than Newcastle Jets (147), while no team has as few as the Mariners (84).
Saturday 14 April 2018
Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-Off: 7:50 PM (local) (7:50 PM AEST)
Referee: Jarred Gillett
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 501 from 7.45pm (AEST), ONE from 7:45pm (AEST), and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: myfootballnation.com (Coast FM). ABC News on Radio, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Listen App – A-League Live.
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #CCMvNEW #F3Derby
Newcastle Jets: 1.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimi PETRATOS, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 11.Patricio RODRIGUEZ, 12.Mario SHABOW, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 16.Nick COWBURN, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 20.Glen MOSS (gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 24.Joseph CHAMPNESS, 27.Riley MCGREE, 32.Angus THURGATE, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 12.Mario SHABOW (promoted), 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI (return from suspension), 32.Angus THURGATE (promoted)
Outs: 8.Ronald VARGAS (groin – 1 week), 10.Wayne BROWN (calf – 4 weeks)
Unavailable: 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (knee – 4 weeks)
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Jake McGING, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Blake POWELL, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 14.Adam BERRY, 15.Alan BARO (c), 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Josh BINGHAM, 18.Tom GLOVER (gk), 21.Kye ROWLES, 22.Jacob MELLING, 23.Wout BRAMA, 24.Lachlan WALES, 25.Peter KEKERIS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Storm ROUX (returns from injury), 17.Josh BINGHAM (promoted)
Unavailable: 5.Antony GOLEC (indefinite), 6.Tom HIARIEJ (indefinite), 10.Danny De SILVA (hamstring)