A short turnaround could work wonders for the Newcastle Jets this Friday night, as they head to Sydney to take on the Sky Blues in Round 10 of the Westfield W-League.
It will have been just four days since their clash with Adelaide at McDonald Jones Stadium on Monday, a heartbreaking defeat after the Reds scored twice in injury time.
Defeat in that fixture has left the Jets treading water, six points from Perth Glory in fourth spot on the ladder but still well and truly within touching distance of consecutive finals appearances.
REPORT: Injury time double downs Jets
It’ll be the first time the Jets have taken on the Sky Blues since February last year, when it took extra-time to separate the pair in a huge semi-final showdown.
A win could see the Jets jump Sydney on the ladder too, who are just two points ahead in the Westfield W-League standings.
The Sky Blues enjoyed the bye over the New Year period, but prior to that went down 2-1 to Perth Glory on December 21. In their two matches previous, they beat Adelaide and Brisbane 5-2 and 5-1 respectively.
Katie Stengel is set to miss out again this weekend after scans confirmed that she's suffered a low-grade stress fracture in her foot.
That’s likely to mean that Monday’s front three of Pana Petratos, Cortnee Vine, and Teigan Collister will line up together once more come Friday.
There was some concern over the fitness of Cassidy Davis, who was subbed off late against Adelaide after injuring her knee in a tackle but the prognosis is good and she's likely to be ready to go.
Should the centre-back miss out, the Jets have a ready-made replacement in Larissa Crummer who will return from suspension this Friday.
There are two players in the Jets side who have played every minute this season – Gema Simon and Britt Eckerstrom, and the pair will look to continue that record in Round 10.
From the coach
“Sydney have a lot of experience in their team, the front third is the Matildas front three, really,” boss, Craig Deans said.
“There’s a lot of quality there and a lot of experience. It’s a very good challenge for us, considering the people that are unfortunately missing at the moment.
“If we work as hard as we did on Monday, then we give ourselves a chance. It’s always tough to lose a game in stoppage time, and that’s the downside of playing young players who don’t know how to close out a game.
“As long as they learn from it… it’s not that they’re not good enough as footballers, it’s learning to understand the mental side of the game which takes a bit of time. It’s nobody’s fault, it’s just one of those things. If we apply the same work ethic, we’ll have a chance.
“If Larissa [Crummer] had been there, she would’ve been pretty comfortable in dealing with a lot of what came our way. She’ll come back in on Friday, she’s a very experienced player in our team at the moment.
“We’re looking forward to having her back, and I’m sure she’ll be keen to get on the pitch and show that she’s good enough against some really good attacking players which Sydney has.”