Back-to-back away games in Wellington and Melbourne will test the depth of the Newcastle Jets squad.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond believes the depth of the his squad will be tested during the Jets- tough road trip to face both Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory this week.
The Jets travel to Wellington to take on the Phoenix in a mid-week game on at Westpac Stadium on Wednesday night.
From there they will fly directly to Melbourne to take on the Victory at AAMI Park on Sunday evening, before returning home to play Perth Glory at Hunter Stadium on Friday night.
“We-ve got another two games at home and three games away and this period is going to be a really tricky period for us with the amount of games in such quick succession,” van Egmond said.
“We-ve got Wellington on Wednesday, Melbourne on Sunday and then Perth on Friday.
“It-s a quick turnaround at this stage of the season and a few different bodies won-t be able to cope with them all.
“We definitely have to utilise the whole of the squad and it-s going to be a bit of horse for courses.”
The Jets- squad contains a number of players capable of performing in a variety of positions and van Egmond said he plans to take full advantage of his team-s adaptability.
“Everyone-s got a little bit of versatility about them as well,” van Egmond explained.
“Look at Josh Brillante, who I thought was outstanding (against Brisbane) playing at right back, he-s also comfortable in the midfield.
“There are a number of players in that situation who you can call on in a certain role and it-s good that we have that.”
The Jets have not beaten the Phoenix in Wellington since 2007, but despite the enormity of the task facing his side, van Egmond said his players will take plenty of confidence into the match.
“I think we-ve only lost one of eight games over the last few weeks. That-s not to say we-ve won a great deal, but we-ve only lost one in eight, so we-re pretty resolute and hard to break down,” van Egmond explained.
“It could very well be (the week that makes or breaks us) with these two games against Wellington and Victory. Mind you we still have to play Perth and Wanderers at home.
“I said it ages ago that I think it will probably go down to the last round and I-m pretty sure that will occur for those two finals spots.”