Quick turnaround impacts squad selection

The Newcastle Jets have named an 18-man squad to take on Gold Coast this Wednesday afternoon at Ausgrid Stadium.

The Newcastle Jets have named an 18-man squad to take on Gold Coast this Wednesday afternoon at Ausgrid Stadium.

Into the squad this week comes James Virgili, Marko Jesic, Ali Abbas and Jacob Pepper. English striker Francis Jeffers is omitted due to an ankle injury whilst Jobe Wheelhouse remains sidelined due to a virus.

Coach Gary van Egmond will finalise his starting eleven and bench 90 minutes prior to Wednesday-s game.

“It is about looking to see if you can make the type of changes that will benefit the team and benefit the individuals; some individuals are down on confidence and some might not understand what is being asked still,” van Egmond said following the final training session.

“Add in a couple of injuries and it is trying to work out that balance for the Gold Coast game.”

The coach remains cautious of playing Michael Bridges and Kasey Wehrman after such a short turnaround in games.

“Bridgey was saying he feels fine,” van Egmond said.

“He gives you that creativity in that front third however we don-t want to be flogging him and breaking him down, we have to use him the right way so his body is alright to continually participate.

“Kasey is the same scenario as Bridgey, I have to chat to him and see what we do but they are both in the mix.”

The coach suggested Jeffers- replacement could be either Labinot Haliti or Ryan Griffiths to play at the point and some positional changes could see the inclusion of youngsters Pepper, Jesic and Virgili.

The Newcastle Jets just sit one point ahead of last-placed Gold Coast on the Hyundai A-League ladder and both teams come into the game off a draw last weekend.

“They are a dangerous team, they are playing what I call a counter-attack football which is probably the better type of game for them to play,” van Egmond added.

“They have a lot of pace and we have to be aware when we are in our front third and lose possession, that can we win it back quickly or if we can-t, our positioning is paramount so we don-t get countered.”

Catch the Jets on Wednesday night as they host Gold Coast United at Ausgrid Stadium, kick off is 5.30pm. For ticket information, click here. A reminder up to two junior tickets are free when purchasing an adult ticket.