Tactical adjustment gives Jets potency

Gary van Egmond says a slight tactical adjustment made the Jets more of an attacking threat in their 3-2 win over Sydney FC.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond revealed that a slight tactical adjustment enabled to the Jets be more of an attacking threat in their 3-2 win over Sydney FC on Saturday.

Van Egmond pushed Craig Goodwin further up the park to play on the left-hand side of a front three, while James Virgili was given his first starting appearance of the season and employed on the right wing.

This enabled Ryan Griffiths to play a more central role and provide better support for former England international Emile Heskey.

Griffiths cherished the opportunity to become more involved, scoring the Jets- opening goal and providing two assists as both Heskey and Goodwin also got their names on the scoresheet.

“We went back to a more traditional 4-3-3 if you like,” van Egmond explained.

“Ryan Griffiths was playing as a half-midfielder, half-striker because we obviously needed to get someone up there with Emile and it was a lot better.”

Van Egmond said the performance was an improvement on Newcastle-s opening-round loss to Adelaide United where they failed to create clear-cut opportunities, but said there were still areas of their game the Jets needed to work on.

“It could-ve been better I thought. We scored three goals away from home, so we should be happy with that and we are, but with a little bit more luck, we could-ve got a few more,” he said.

“It-s still going to take us a little bit of time, but from last week to this week I think there-s a big improvement, so there-s definitely a way forward.”

Another player who seemed to benefit immensely from van Egmond-s tactical adjustment was Goodwin, who terrorised the right-hand side of the Sydney defence for the full 90 mintues.

“He-s an interesting player, a very, very dedicated player,” van Egmond said.

“I-m so happy for him because he-s one who will practice after training, doing free-kicks and working on his game.

“I-m very happy for him that he-s put in a performance like he had on Saturday and got himself a goal as well.

“He has this uncanny knack of beating players which you saw, and with a bit of luck, he could have been pretty close to scoring a hat-trick, so he-s developing very nicely.”

The only injury concern for the Jets was right-back Scott Neville, who had to be replaced in the 70th minute by Ben Kantarovski.

“Scott Neville felt a tweak in his groin,” van Egmond revealed.

“He had that during the week and we thought he-d be OK to get through game, but he just felt it fatiguing more and more. We-ll have a look during this week.”