Craig Deans reflects on Saturday's loss to the Roar and explains what the focus of training will be this week.
It was upsetting having lost at home for the first time this season on Saturday against Brisbane Roar. There was a lot of hype and pressure surrounding the game as we were undefeated at home and Brisbane were undefeated so far this season.
We took a risk with our formation and it didn-t quite pay off and unfortunately leading to a 2-1 defeat.
Approaching the game against Brisbane we anticipated it was worth the gamble of changing the player formation. Gary was hoping to place more pressure on the field, more of a one-on-one match.
This sort of play was best suited to certain players in our squad, all of which played well and put in a solid effort. We were just unlucky and towards the end of the match lost our concentration.
Disappointingly Ben Kennedy went down in the second half which disrupted the flow of the game. However he has been back at training this week and will hopefully only miss the one game.
On the positive side Jack Duncan made his debut for the Newcastle Jets under enormous pressure. He played well and made a few good saves. He was very vocal on the field which was appreciated by the boys. Saturday was a huge learning curve for him, and he will no doubt walk away with a greater knowledge of the A-League.
I know our Members were expecting to see Michael Bridges and Tiago Calvano take to the field, but having only been back in training for two weeks we felt it best for them to hold off and gain some fitness and intensity.
Francis Jeffers not starting in the eleven came as a shock to some, but with the high intensity of training and adjusting to the hotter climate we felt that Saturday-s game was well-matched to the style of play of others.
Jeffers has been working exceptionally hard at training, adjusting to the heat and Gary-s different method of play. However, having been out of training for a few months it will take him a little longer to modify his game.
I expect a high level of intensity at training again this week as Gary prepares the boys for another hard match against Adelaide United.
Gary will be focusing on transition play. That-s winning the ball, keeping the ball and transitioning the ball from defence to attack and vice versa. Our ball possession is crucial in moving us up the ladder.
My role with the boys this week will be video analysis. Dissecting the game against Brisbane into pro-s and con-s. Really getting to the core of the game and working on our dynamic.
I will be supporting Gary and sharing my input where I see necessary. I feel that Gary and I have been working well together over the past few weeks and I hope that in the coming weeks that is reflected on the field.
It will be yet another tough match this weekend as we travel to Adelaide. Although the Reds sit below us on the ladder board we will not let that affect our game.
The most important thing will be to win and return three points richer.