Zane excited to take the reins

Newcastle Jets interim head coach Clayton Zane says he is excited by the challenge of steering the Jets into the A-League Finals.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets interim head coach Clayton Zane says he is excited by the challenge of steering the Jets into the Hyundai A-League Finals Series for the first time in three seasons after taking over from Gary van Egmond this morning.

With 12 rounds of the 2013/14 season remaining and the Jets currently sitting in seventh spot on the Hyundai A-League, Zane said his primary focus as interim head coach was to ensure the Jets finish inside the top six come season-s end.

“There-s a good squad in place here already, a squad that-s capable of making the top six and it-s just about focusing from here on in to take it one game at a time,” Zane said.

“I think we-ll look at how we-ve tried to do things in the past and we-ll definitely tweak things, because the past six matches probably haven-t gone to plan.

“We-ll talk to the playing group and we-ll look to definitely put a different spin on things, but that doesn-t mean that everything that-s been worked on in pre-season and the first part of this A-League season goes out the window.

“We want to maintain the focus that we had at the beginning of the season, but there will definitely be changes to the playing style and I think that-s needed now if we-re going to kick on and make the top six.”

Zane is in his third season in the Newcastle Jets- coaching set-up having initially served as head coach of the Jets W-League team before taking charge of Newcastle-s National Youth League (NYL) side for the past two seasons.

The 36-year-old said he was excited by the opportunity to take charge of a Hyundai A-League side for the first time.

“The Club has supported me firstly with the W-League and then the Youth League,” Zane said.

“It-s a very exciting time for me personally and I-m trying to focus already on what we need to do for this weekend.

“It-s a huge challenge, but I welcome the challenge. I think people out there will question my experience, but I think the only way I can get the experience is to be thrown into the role.

“I-ve learnt a lot from Gary, but in saying that I-m not a cut-out of Gary either. I think I have my own take on what needs to be done.

“I-m under no illusion that the challenge for me isn-t just to steady the ship, we-re looking to make the top six.”

Zane said he hoped to use his role as interim head coach as an opportunity to put his hand up to fill the role permanently.

“It-s an audition because like every opportunity, it-s up to me what I do with it,” Zane said.

“In saying that, the focus has to just be on the next 12 games and I-ll break it down into smaller parts with the first game this weekend becoming the most important one.

“If the Club feel like the correct decision is to look for more experience and they choose to go that way, then so be it - I don-t think that will distract me at all.

“I-ve accepted the role knowing that it might be exactly how I like it, but I-m very proud to say the role is something I want to take on and take on 100 per cent.”