PREVIEW: O’Donovan seeking progress from City friendly

Newcastle Jets striker Roy O’Donovan hasn’t been cooling his heels following the successful #JetsTour17 to Taree, Port Macquarie, Tamworth, and Singleton, as the squad prepares for today’s pre-season friendly with Melbourne City FC.

Off the back of a six-goal effort against the Northern Inland Football Select, O’Donovan and the Jets squad were put through their paces before flying to Melbourne yesterday afternoon.

“(#JetsTour17) was great for fitness and gave us an opportunity to get used to each other as a team and build that understanding with the people around you,” O’Donovan said. “We’ve got a lot of new players to the club this year and pre-season is about building those combinations.”

“I got to play with Dimi (Petratos) in the second game, which is the first time we’ve played together as a 9 and 10, so it was a good chance to get to know each other’s movements and runs.”

“In the end, the guys were able to get some great miles in their legs and the way we were able to push for the full 90 minutes in both games was a credit to the squad’s fitness.”

When quizzed on the pre-season fixture with City, O’Donovan said the team were focused on finding some polish in key areas of their game plan.

“This is about us trying to improve as a team and like all pre-season fixtures there’ll be things we can take out of this match practice to show we’re heading in the right direction.

“The game in Adelaide (Westfield FFA Cup) across probably 70 – 80 per cent of the pitch we played some good football, but our final passes certainly needed some work.

“We need to be better again against Melbourne City, build that understanding around the attacking football we’d like to play and create some chances in front of goal.

“I think we’ve got some different, clever players in the likes of Dimi (Petratos) and Nabbout – hopefully their energy can create some space and chances for me against what will be a quality side in Melbourne City.

“This clash is certainly important for us to compete, showcase our fitness, see our possession game progress and how our attack can combine in match conditions.

“We’re working towards that (Hyundai) A-League season, finding the right balance and getting everything together for the league kick-off – over the last few weeks there’s been signs that we’re not far away.”

The friendly match against Melbourne City FC will be played behind closed doors at City’s La Trobe training facility.

Results and a match summary will be available via our social and website later today.