Gary van Egmond believes the Jets didn’t create enough goal-scoring opportunities in their 2-0 loss to Adelaide United.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond believes the Jets didn-t create enough goal-scoring opportunities in their 2-0 loss to Adelaide United at Hunter Stadium on Sunday3.
After conceding a goal to Reds forward Dario Vidosic after just 59 seconds, the Jets were forced regroup and work their way back into the contest.
To their credit, the Jets controlled the majority of the play for the remainder of the first half, having 58% of possession and forcing Adelaide to concede a number of corners.
However, they were unable to translate that into goal scoring chances and van Egmond has earmarked the need for more attacking impetus as an area for improvement.
“In the first minute we-ve copped a goal, just from a lack of focus we-ve gone 1-nil down and we-re chasing the game. Straight away it puts you on the back foot,” van Egmond said.
“To the boys- credit, they controlled the game in the first half. We probably needed to create more clear-cut opportunities in that first half, but the control of the game was definitely by ourselves.
“The second half, being with the wind and looking forward to doing the same, we felt quite confident that we would definitely get something out of the game.
“Unfortunately we didn-t count on the fact that we were going to get a player sent off, which changed the complexion completely.”
Van Egmond said the Jets needed to be more potent in the final third to capitalise on the amount of ball they had.
“When we-re looking to play a high pressing game and looking to control the game and be more in their half, we-re looking to make sure we get more clear-cut scoring opportunities and take those opportunities,” he said.
The Jets played with a back three of Scott Neville, Josh Mitchell and Dominik Ritter against the Reds.
Van Egmond acknowledged the ploy might leave the Jets- defence slightly exposed at times, but said he was happy with how the trio dealt with the majority of what was thrown at them.
“We-re looking to play an attacking brand of football, but when you do that, it-s obviously quite risky from a counter-attack point of view,” he said.
“I have a lot of faith in the back three that played yesterday and I thought that overall they were excellent and we-ll continue to look at that.”
Van Egmond was also pleased with the contribution of marquee striker Emile Heskey in his debut match for the Jets.
“I thought his contribution was great,” van Egmond said.
“He-s a real target man up front. You could see a number of times where people looked to play the ball in and look to run off him,”
“We need to get better at that, not only in a position where the ball is going into him and the same person is getting the ball back, but the third man running and the next person making a run into space as well.
“We-re definitely better off having Emile here and now and using Emile here and now, than we were before, so he-s enhanced our game plan if anything.”
Heskey got through 71 minutes of game time before being replaced by James Virgili and van Egmond said the effort of the ex-Liverpool man had exceeded his expectations.
“For Emile, he-s wanting to stay out there for 95 minutes,” van Egmond said.
“We have to be a little bit careful with him, but we probably went over a little bit more today. He-ll have recovery, a massage and a day off and be back on the training paddock.
“I was looking at half a game to be honest with you. But he-s got such a will to play, to get out there and try and contribute.”