Second spot may be sewn up for the Newcastle Jets, but Ernie Merrick will be looking for an improved performance as they face Perth Glory at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday.
After two consecutive losses the Jets will be looking to return to their winning ways against a Glory side desperate to snare a spot in the competition’s final six – with a win the only way they can keep their finals dream alive.
Jets’ boss, Ernie Merrick said he had complete faith in his squad to turn things around on Friday night.
“Every team goes through a flat spot at some stage, but we’ll come good when it counts,” said Merrick.
“It isn’t ideal that it’s at this point of the season, but we have the points in the bank so we finish second – which is reward for the football we’ve played through most of the season.”
Despite conceding eight goals in the last two games, Merrick will continue to promote his attacking philosophy.
“Our biggest asset is scoring goals and we’ve scored 49 this season and we want to score more, added Merrick.
“If you focus too much on defence, you take away from your biggest asset.”
“In saying that, we also need to make sure we don’t slacken off and the boys know the job they have to do defensively – but we can fix that.”
It’s expected the Friday’s lineup will remain largely unchanged, however Daniel Georgievski will miss the fixture due to suspension and will be replaced by Jason Hoffman.
By the numbers:
- Newcastle Jets have scored exactly two goals in each of their last five games against Perth, picking up two wins and two draws in that span (L1).
- The Jets are undefeated in the last three seasons when playing at home on a Friday (W5, D1), keeping four clean sheets in the process.
- No team has had more shots on target this season than Newcastle Jets (142), while only the Mariners (84) have made fewer than the Glory (96).
- Dimi Petratos has made 46 shots at goal (inc. blocks) from outside the box this season, 10 more than any other player.
Friday 6 April 2018
Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Kick-Off: 7:50 PM (local) (7:50 PM AEST)
Referee: Chris Beath
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 501 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC News on Radio, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Listen App – A-League Live.
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #NEWvPER
To purchase tickets visit http://bit.ly/NEWvPER
Newcastle Jets: 1.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimi PETRATOS, 8.Ronald VARGAS, 9.Roy O'DONOVAN, 11.Patricio RODRIGUEZ, 12.Mario SHABOW, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 16.Nick COWBURN, 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: 3.Jason HOFFMAN (return from suspension), 12.Mario SHABOW (promoted), 32.Angus THURGATE (promoted)
Outs: 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI (suspension)
Unavailable: 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (knee – 5 weeks), 10.Wayne BROWN (calf – 1 week)
Perth Glory squad: 2.Alex GRANT, 4.Shane LOWRY, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.Xavi TORRES, 9.Andy KEOGH (c), 13.Nick FEELY (gk), 14.Chris HAROLD, 16.Joseph MILLS, 17.Diego CASTRO, 18.Andreu GUERAO, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 22.Adam TAGGART, 23.Scott NEVILLE, 26.Jacob ITALIANO, 33.Liam REDDY (gk) , 66.Dino DJULBIC, 88.Neil KILKENNY
**one to be omitted**
Ins: 20.Jake BRIMMER, 26.Jacob ITALIANO (both promoted)
Outs: 15.Brandon WILSON (illness)
Unavailable: 15.Brandon WILSON (illness)