Newcastle Jets Head Coach Phil Stubbins says Saturday’s #F3Derby clash against the Mariners provides the perfect opportunity for his squad to “put a smile” on the faces of Novocastrians.
The Jets will host Central Coast in the final #F3Derby of Hyundai A-League season ten at Hunter Stadium at the weekend, and will be looking to defeat their southern foes for the first time since October 2012 when the two teams meet.
Stubbins’ side have slowly improved their performances in recent weeks and on Sunday recorded a credible 2-2 draw away to Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand.
The Mariners also scored twice in Hyundai A-League round 18, though they conceded four times away to Sydney FC to go down 4-2.
With five points separating the two sides on the competition ladder, Stubbins knows a win for his ninth-placed side against Phil Moss’s eighth-placed Mariners will be crucial to his team’s hopes of finishing above the yellow and navy come season’s end.
“It’s [the #F3Derby] a great opportunity for us,” Stubbins told local media on Tuesday. “It’s a massive game for both clubs.”
“Although it’s not two teams at the top of the league I think there’s a helluva lot at stake.”
“We’ve got the disappointment of a couple of players missing but that raises an opportunity for another couple of lads to step in.”
“We’ll be doing all that we can to put a smile on the supporters’ faces, that’s for sure.”
“Physically we’re going to have to be up for it.”
“Mentally, if we get that wrong we’re going to fall short, so we need to be really on the front foot and taking the game to Central Coast.”
“We’re going to be champing at the bit to get involved in the contest.”
“It’s going to be a great opportunity to get that second win and show that our transition is heading in the right way,” he said.
Stubbins also praised new Jets Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mitchell Murphy for the impact he’s made on the club in a short period of time.
“Since Mitchell’s come in I think he’s done a very good job in getting on the front foot,” Stubbins said. “He’s obviously gone about tackling situations and issues both commercially and involved with the football department and he’s done that with very good effect.”
“It was good to have him with us on the weekend’s trip [to Wellington] and for him to have an insight into the group. It was good to get a positive response from his witness of the group working together and the harmony of everything.”