Van Egmond: We need to be more clinical in the final third

Gary van Egmond wants to see improved final third play from the Jets following their 3-1 win over Wellington on Saturday.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond says the Jets need to improve their play in the final third following their 3-1 over the Wellington Phoenix in the QR National Cup on Saturday night.

Four red-cards during the fixture dramatically changed the outlook of the game and tested the Jets- ability to break down an undermanned opposition defence.

Wellington had two players sent off as a result of an altercation in the first half, which also saw Tiago Calvano red carded. Andrew Durante-s dismissal in the second half meant the Phoenix finished the clash with only eight players.

“We tried to see if we could both get a couple of subs on and try and make it 11 v 11 and what have you, but unfortunately, that wasn-t to be,” van Egmond said.

“For us it was a bit more of a run in regards to how we can break an opposition down with one or two less and for them, it was how they can defend against a team that has one or two more.

“At times we were very good, at times it was not so good and it-s definitely an area we can improve on. “We definitely need to keep on working in regards to the front third.

“The other part is our positional play when we are higher up the park. We need to ensure we are sound and on a defensive side of things, ensure we-re in a good position to win the ball back nice and quickly.”

Van Egmond said that not having a full allocation of players on the field made it difficult for the Jets to work on areas of their game they had practised during the week at training.

“When we went to having one extra player, we obviously controlled the game, but prior to that I think we were a little bit rusty,” he said.

“We just made some poor choices in our positioning in looking to try and control the match.

“We had a few other things planned of what we wanted to do, but it didn-t eventuate because the game lost so many players.”

Van Egmond said the fiery nature of the clash was a result of a long pre-season and the players- eagerness to impress their respective coaches before the A-League starts.

“The issue you have is that we have such a long off-season and players are eager to get back into that game phase,” he said.

“You-re not making excuses for them, but that-s the eagerness you have from both teams.

“They-ve obviously got players looking to gain a contract and fighting for positions in the squad.

“We are in the same boat. We have a number of players wanting to get into the first 11. It was a bit difficult for the referee as well.

“He is an inexperienced referee and it was a difficult game for him to officiate first off.

“All in all, it was not what you want to see but we will learn from that.”