Ruben Zadkovich believes a positive start is crucial for the Jets when they take on Wellington at Hunter Stadium on Saturday night.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets captain Ruben Zadkovich believes a positive start is crucial for the Jets when they take on Wellington Phoenix at Hunter Stadium on Saturday night.
Newcastle found themselves 2-0 down inside the first six minutes of last weekend-s F3 Derby clash with the Central Coast Mariners and Zadkovich believes the Jets can-t afford another sluggish start against the Phoenix on Saturday.
“Obviously our starts have been something that have let us down massively and we-re not the best team coming from behind,” Zadkovich said.
“In saying that, when we get a lead we-re quite hard to run down.
“We-ve been working on our starts and basic things like discipline and focus to make sure we-re switched on
“Last week was a bit of a debacle at the start of the game and we-re looking to try and rectify that in front of our Members.”
Zadkovich said a win over the eighth-placed Phoenix would provide the Jets- Finals series hopes with a significant boost.
“They-re all hard games in this league and Wellington are no exception,” Zadkovich said.
“On their day they-re quite a good side, but we feel it-s definitely one we should win and if we want to play finals football, we-ve got to be good enough to beat Wellington at home.
“We-ve been pushing hard all season and we-ve put ourselves in a position where we-ve still got a chance to make the finals.
“A win this weekend will be massive.”
Zadkovich said that if the Jets were to qualify for the Hyundai A-League Finals Series, he is confident they could make an impact.
“I-m pretty sure that teams like Brisbane, Western Sydney and even Adelaide won-t be looking forward to playing us, because we-ve shown we can beat them,” Zadkovich said.
“We-ve got a quality squad and it-s full of good players, consistency has just been the biggest issue, but we know if we get there we-re definitely good enough.”
Meanwhile, Zadkovich said he was backing teammate Ben Kennedy to do a good job after being promoted to the starting goalkeeper-s role for Saturday-s match.
“What BK brings is a wealth of experience. He-s been around the game for a long time and especially this Club,” Zadkovich said.
“He certainly wears the badge on his heart and he-s Newcastle born and bred.
“BK is going to get his chance and we-re confident he can do the job, but we-re also confident Birraz (Mark Birighitti) will bounce back because he-s a quality player.”