FINISHING SCHOOL: Dimi Petratos crunches a volley at Newcastle Jets training on Wednesday. The Jets face a hectic schedule of four games in 14 days. Picture: Jonathan CarrollCOACH Ernie Merrick has stressed the importance of ‘picking uppoints’ as the Newcastle Jets embark on a helter skelter four games in 14 days which could prove pivotal in the race for the A-League premiership.
The Jets take on a resurgent Melboune Victory at AAMI Park on Friday night.They then back up on the road against leaders Sydney FC next Wednesday (January 3) beforehome games against Central Coast (January 9) and Brisbane (January 12).
The Jets, sitting second on 26 points, are five points adrift of the Sky Blues, whose work load will increase in Februarywith the start of theAsian Champions League Group stage.
Significantly, the Jets, who haven’t made the finals in seven years,have a seven-point buffer to third placed Melbourne City and are 14 points clear of the Mariners in seventh.
Launching pad: Four games in 14 days chance for Jets to shoot clear TweetFacebookDimi doing what Dimi does best! @[email protected]@ALeaguepic.twitter南京夜网/7uXrIDih34
— James Gardiner (@JamesGardiner42) December 27, 2017Jason Hoffman with the finish and then the header. @[email protected]@ALeaguepic.twitter南京夜网/8HaVUzlc7t
— James Gardiner (@JamesGardiner42) December 27, 2017
“It is the ‘summerfesitival of football’yet everyone is losing players to an under-23 competition that is really, worthless,” Merrick said.“It would be ideal to have our full squad so we can rotate players but we don’t have the numbers. Usually in these situations the senior players are the ones you rely on to hang in there. With a couple of boys back from injury, at least we have a couple of spots we can rotate.”
Victory, after a slow start to the campaign, have found their mojo, winning three of the past four games to move to fifth spot on 16 points.
“We did a video session this morning,” Merrick said.“We looked at our last game against Wanderers. We also looked at how Victory set up against Melbourne City and we also looked at how we played against them last time.You obviously want to repeat that type of performance.”