Clayton Zane says the Jets will go into Saturday’s F3 Derby clash with the Central Coast Mariners as underdogs.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets interim head coach Clayton Zane says the Jets will go into Saturday-s F3 Derby clash with the Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium as underdogs.
Despite the Jets positive recent form, which has seen them notch three wins from their past four matches, Zane was adamant the Mariners will start Saturday-s match as favourites after an impressive mid-week win over Japanese Champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
“Central Coast come into this match on the back of one of the best wins in terms of an Asian Champions League performance that an Australian Club has had,” Zane said.
“They-ll be brimming with confidence, they-ve got the home crowd and their last result against us was a 3-0 win.
“If you look at it from a neutral viewpoint, they obviously have to be the favourites for this one.
“Our game plan has to be a little bit similar to Central Coast-s, being hard to beat, being resilient and trying to be smart when we do attack and make sure we-re sorted from a rest defence point of view.”
Zane said he was yet to settle on the final make-up of his starting XI, but indicated that Joel Griffiths will return to the match day squad after missing last week-s clash with Melbourne Heart due to a rib injury.
“Joel trained very well and obviously with his experience, he-ll come back into the squad this week,” Zane said.
“As for the type of impact he-ll have, I-m going to sleep on that overnight.
“I haven-t fully settled on the starting XI, but I-ve spoken to a few players today to let them know the role they-re most likely to play.
“It-s such a tough decision because we-ve got people in wide areas that are banging on the door each week.
“I-ve been very happy with the way Joel has trained, but at the same time I-ve been very happy with David Carney, Andrew Hoole and Craig Goodwin.
“The biggest choice we-ve got with selection this week is David Carney and whether we-re getting more from him as an impact player or whether we try and use his experience and start him in such a big game.
“You-re really flipping a coin between Goodwin and Carney because they both offer the same thing from dead ball situations, but Goodwin is probably a bit more mobile and Carney has a bit more experience.” With the Jets searching for their first win at Bluetongue Stadium in six season, Zane said his troops are more than up for the clash against their fierce local rivals.
“I looked at our boys today and I can see a difference in training when it-s a Derby game compared to any other week, it-s a lot more competitive over the course of the week,” Zane said.
“We have some older heads coming back in and one of the keys this week for me is Joel Griffiths, who-s been there and been around some of the bigger battles between the two Clubs before.
“Someone like him won-t let this moment pass by without reminding people that we need to go down there and put a smile on our Members- face, because they-ve been pretty patient in terms of our last win down there.
“Also our last performance down, although the second half was quite decent, we started very, very poorly and I-m don-t think people like Joel, Emile and Kew will allow that to happen this time.”