Gary van Egmond says the win over Brisbane was another step in the right direction as the Jets look to cement a top six spot.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond believes his side-s 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar was another important step in the right direction as the Jets look to cement a spot in the A-League-s top six.
The Jets kept their second consecutive clean sheet against the Roar, with Ryan Griffiths- goal in the 48th minute securing a vital three points for the home side.
Van Egmond said the result was well deserved and praised the performance of his young troupe of players.
“It-s not just the fact that we-ve kept a clean sheet, but performance wise, I thought it was excellent,” he said.
“What some of the younger ones lack in experience, they definitely make up for it with attitude and work ethic.
“It-s great to see that they-re now starting to get a good understanding of the game. From that point of view it-s very pleasing to see them develop individually and as a group.
“From the point of view of getting confidence into the team, to win those types of games gives the team a lot of character as well and we-re really buoyed by the performance.”
Attacking midfielder James Brown set up Griffiths- winner with an exquisite backheel and van Egmond said it was exciting to see that the former Gold Coast United star was slowly rediscovering his best form.
“It was a little bit of something different from him to create the goal and that-s what he-s capable of,” van Egmond said.
“He-s been through the mill with that injury with his ankle, but finally we-ve got him right and we-re going to reap the benefits of that not only for the rest of this season, but for however long he stays with Newcastle.
“His attitude has been spot on. He-s never worked harder, he-s never been fitter and all he needs now is more game time and more confidence.”
While Brown gave the Jets an important attacking spark, it was the work of the Jets- defence that most pleased van Egmond.
“From a back four perspective it-s good that they-re getting some experience with each other, ” he said.
“It-s not just the back four, it-s the positioning of the whole team and what people are doing a little bit further up the park which is making their job a little bit easier.
“They are young and it does take a bit of time for them to get to understand the exact positioning or to find the solution without the ball.
“We-ve been working very hard on it and it-s good to see that it-s coming to fruition.”
The Jets were without marquee striker Emile Heskey for the match against Brisbane, as well as a number of other experienced players.
Van Egmond said he was pleased with the way the rest of the squad responded to the absence of such key figures.
“We didn-t have our marquee player and obviously we-ve all seen how well Emile has been playing this year and what he-s done for the team,” he said.
“From the point of view that they could get a result while he-s not on the field, which may happen again between now and the end of the season, it will develop a lot of good character for this football team.
“There are a number of players that are still out that have got a lot of experience and are good players, but there are also a lot of good players that played on Saturday.
“From a coaching point of view, I-m over the moon that I-m going to have that much competition on the field this week.”