Victory won't be easy

Victory's playing roster, regardless of ladder position, makes them a dangerous side says assistant coach Craig Deans.


The Newcastle Jets held their final training session at Ausgrid Stadium on Friday morning before travelling to Melbourne to take on eight-placed Melbourne Victory.

Like all teams this weekend, squad selection is largely affected by player availability with three games scheduled in seven days.

“Three games in a week is a bit tough, but they are professional footballers and they know their bodies and they have been given everything we can give them to make sure they are right for the third game in the week,” assistant coach Craig Deans said.

The Jets are likely to be without defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley due to a corked thigh whilst forward Marko Jesic is a chance to return after injury and finding form in the Youth League.

“Marko had an unfortunate injury earlier in the season and he has taken some time coming back from that,” Deans said.

“He is a good footballer with a lot of technical ability, he just needs to show it on a consistent basis and he might get his opportunity this Saturday.”

With the heavy schedule, the younger players have had a good opportunity to showcase their talent on the A-League stage and former Youth team coach Deans believes it is good for their development.

“Any time that a young player comes in and has a decent game and holds their own is a good thing because it gives them confidence,” he said.

“(Jacob) Pepper and (Ben) Kanta, should be proud of their performance on Wednesday.

“Kanta has been around a lot longer than Pepper so it is not as big a deal for Kanta to have a solid game but for Pepper it was a good starting point for him.”

Saturday-s Week 14 game will a challenge against the Victory, with both needing the three-points.

“Regardless of where the Victory are on the table, they have some very good players and there isn-t an easy game in the A-League so you can-t go into any game expecting it to be easy, this will be a tough one I have no doubt,” Deans said.

“Whatever shape we put out, whatever system we play, if the players stick to the game plan then I think we can cause some problems for the Victory on Saturday.”

Deans expects Ryan Griffiths to retain the captain's armband, with Jobe Wheelhouse still sidelined with a virus.