Two solid performances have yielded just the one point for Craig Deans’ side so far this season in the Westfield W-League, but the signs are good.
The opening round draw with Melbourne City was one of those special, electric nights at No.2 Sportsground while last weekend’s defeat to Western Sydney was an odd affair all around.
A wrongfully disallowed goal for the Wanderers and a questionable penalty, along with a half-hour weather delay made things interesting but the defensive effort from Newcastle was first class.
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Speaking with media on Tuesday afternoon, forward Tara Andrews said the focus was on turning that one point on the ladder into four by picking up a maiden win of the season this Saturday.
“We’re pretty disappointed with the weekend, we didn’t play as well as we can… we know we need to keep the ball better and that’s what we’ll work on,” Andrews said.
“We’ll come out firing this weekend. We know we didn’t do as well as we could have last week, so we’re all ready to give it our best this weekend.
“Canberra are a good team, they’re going to be tough but we’re ready to bring it to them. All around the park, they’ve got a good couple of internationals and obviously Heather Garriock is a pretty good coach who knows how to win.”
Newcastle haven’t lost to Canberra in more than two years, although there have only been two encounters between the two sides in that period.
Last year’s meeting was also in Round 3 at McDonald Jones Stadium, best remembered for that stunning strike from Cortnee Vine.
Being back in Newcastle is something which Andrews believes will play heavily in her side’s favour.
“I think, playing at home helps. The vibe at No.2 Sportsground is so much better, we have a really good support that come along and cheer us on which spurs us on,” Andrews said.
“It’ll be good to be back at McDonald Jones Stadium this weekend… double headers give us more exposure, all the girls enjoy being able to get bigger crowds to games and have more people come and watch us.
“Playing in front of bigger crowds is pretty special for us. It’s a great feeling to play at home, I’m proud to be a Newcastle player and being able to play at the stadium in front of my home crowd is amazing."