Newcastle Jets captain Kew Jaliens believes having a near unchanged line-up for the Jets past few Hyundai A-League outings has improved the side's chemistry ahead of Saturday's clash with Wellington Phoenix at Hunter Stadium.
The centre-back says they are getting closer to their first win of the season but they need to start scoring more goals to get their first three point haul.
“Playing with the same eleven is big plus for us and especially for me in defence playing with the same guys around me,” Jaliens said.
“I think we’ve been close, and had a bit of bad luck on our side not to win games but the positive is we are still creating chances.
“And the only thing lacking at the moment is finishing off those chances and closing the game.”
The former Dutch international said that victory against the Phoenix on Saturday would give the Jets the confidence boost they need to get their campaign back on track.
“With victory comes confidence and as long as you’re not winning your confidence remains at a certain level,” Jaliens said
“But if you win your confidence rises and you take that belief with you into the next game.”
“These are the thing you work towards at training, to get the win on the weekend.”
Jaliens said the team needs to remain more focused after taking the lead in order to see out the result.
“There is always a moment in the game, especially after you score when you start to feel comfortable but we can’t have that attitude,” Jaliens said.
“For me no matter what I still have the same attitude of nil all or being down 1-0 and I think that’s the kind of mentality you have to have.”
The two teams met back in round three in New Zealand where the Phoenix took out the match 4-1, but Jaliens says the Jets are now a far improved team.t
“At that time there was a big lack on our side, especially in organisation,” Jaliens said.
“I remember in some of the goals it was just me left alone at the back after the other backs pushed up to fill the gaps in the midfield.
“But from there we’ve changed as a team and we’re a far better squad now than we were then, and I’m still confident for this weekend.”
The Phoenix are coming off a commanding 5-1 victory over Melbourne City last weekend but the Jets skipper says if they prevent them quacking transitioning the ball up the park and dictate the pace of the game they have a good chance at victory.
“They play quick counter attacking football, that’s the way they play and it’s their strength,” said Jaliens.
“If you let them play the way they can then they will beat you 5-1 but we know what to expect which is plus for us going into this game.
“We need to not get carried away with the ball and be cautious of their strengths, but I think we’ve got a good chance to win.”
Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix
Saturday, December 6