Newcastle Jets fan favourite Labinot Haliti is in line for a return to Hyundai A-League play this Thursday when the Jets challenge Melbourne City at AAMI Park in Victoria.
Haliti, who was 17th man in Wellington last weekend, is one of two players Mark Jones has promoted to his preliminary 18-player squad for Thursday night’s game against the star-studded City in the Victorian capital.
Former Tianjin Teda midfielder Ma Leilei has also been promoted by Jones for Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Round 6.
“I think it’s good that we get to make up for the Wellington game sooner rather than later,” Jones told media earlier this week.
“Our emphasis is to go there [Melbourne], press with a little more urgency and take our opportunities.”
“We have got people back. Andrew Nabbout could only play 30 minutes on the weekend so he is right to start the game, [Aleksandr] Kokko the same.”
“We have suddenly got everyone -- at the top end anyway -- back and that allows us to play people in their best position,” Jones said.
Newcastle Jets Squad vs. Melbourne City FC: 3. Jason HOFFMAN, 4. Nigel BOOGAARD (C), 6. Steven UGARKOVIC, 7. Andrew HOOLE, 8. Mateo POLJAK, 9. Aleksandr KOKKO, 10. Wayne BROWN, 11. Labinot HALITI, 13. Ivan VUJICA, 15. Andrew NABBOUT, 16. Nicholas COWBURN, 18. MA Leilei, 19. Morten NORDSTRAND, 20. Jack DUNCAN (gk), 23. Devante CLUT, 27. Caio DE GODOY, 28. Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 40. Jim FOGARTY (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 11. Labinot HALITI (promoted), 18. MA Leilei (promoted)
Unavailable: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk) (achilles - season), 2. Daniel MULLEN (knee - 6-8 weeks), 5. Ben KANTAROVSKI (knee - 3-4 weeks), 21. Daniel ALESSI (knee - season), 22. Lachlan JACKSON (ankle - 3-4 weeks)