Newcastle Jets head coach Phil Stubbins says his team has had a good week of preparation ahead of their clash with reigning Champions Brisbane Roar at Hunter Stadium tonight.Both teams are desperate to secure the three points and re-ignite their stalled 2014/15 Hyundai A-League campaigns.
The Jets boss says the entire squad is confident and looking forward to the challenge.
“There’s some boys out there really desperate to get the three points and I think going by training today there’s a real seriousness attached to how we’re going to approach the game,” Stubbins said.
“It was interesting this morning that the young players beat the older guys in the possession drills and that’s a really good thing moving forward.
“We’re building each week and we’re trying to grow into a team that becomes very efficient with the ball and effective at scoring goals.”
The Roar have so far lost their opening four matches of the season and Stubbins said Mike Mulvey and his team are under a lot of pressure.
“They’d absolutely be feeling the pressure, they have the Champions tag next to their name and everyone expects the Brisbane Roar to come out and win the game.” Stubbins said.
“They’ve got to come and try and beat us, they can’t afford to sit back.
“They’re a wonderful team in possession of the football but it needs to translate into scoring goals and I’m sure Mike’s been working on ways to improve them in the final third.”
Stubbins said they will be looking to take advantage of the cracks that have appeared in the Roar’s ranks over the past few weeks.
“Everyone’s seen the footage now of the angst shown on the field after their last game against Melbourne City,” Stubbins said.
“Everybody’s looking for an angle and a bit of an advantage so I hope there’s a little bit more of that on Friday night.
“They’re coming here with real pressure so our boys need to capitalise on that and apply more pressure throughout the game.”
The Jets have been buoyed with the return of former Socceroos Billy Celeski and Adrian Madaschi to full training and both are available for selection this week.
“Billy will be starting, he’s a quality player and he’s got genuine leadership,” Stubbins said.
“He’s come from an environment that’s won the Championship a few times in Melbourne Victory and we’ll be expecting a good game from him.
“He’s certainly someone who adds real fabric to us as a team and a group and it will be good to finally get him on the pitch in a Newcastle Jets shirt.
“Adrian Madaschi has also put his hand up for selection but at this stage I won’t say if he’s playing or not.”
Stubbins is hoping a win in front of a home crowd at Hunter Stadium will allow the Jets to start climbing the competition ladder.
“Fingers crossed we can go down there and put on a decent show for our home supporters who were fantastic last weekend,” Stubbins said.
“We need to get Hunter Stadium rocking and to do that we need to be a team that’s attracting supporters and that for myself is a real aim.
“To be sat there in front of 25,000 would a fantastic opportunity for players to be showcasing themselves and be very proud to be associated with the Hunter region.”
Newcastle Jets v Brisbane Roar
Friday, November 14
Kick-off 7.40pm AEDT
Tickets available from Ticketmaster.