The Newcastle Jets’ brilliant last round performance will count for nothing if they can’t back it up this weekend.
That’s the opinion of in-form keeper Ryan Scott, who left Wellington with a clean sheet in round seven of the A-League Men’s (ALM) competition.
The Rob Stanton-coached outfit not only inflicted the Phoenix’s maiden loss for 2023/24, but booted three goals in the rout, via a double to Apostolos Stamatelopoulos and man of the match Clayton Taylor.
“Yeah, it was a satisfying plane trip,” the 27-year-old said.
“It’s always better coming back with the points.
“But, I thought it was a great effort from the boys.
“In fact, I’d probably say it’s been a long time coming.
“We’ve shown glimpses of it during the season; however, it was nice to put it all together away from home.
“I feel, in this league, if you don’t turn up, regardless of who you play, you can lose the game.
“And, if you’re on, you give yourself every opportunity to win the match.
“Wellington started the season well, they were undefeated, so, I guess we probably weren’t expected to get anything out of it.
“However, we had the belief in the group that if we executed our game plan, we could go and get the win, which we did.”
Following two successive losses to the Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne City, Newcastle looked a completely different side.
Scott admitted the Jets should gain a lot of confidence out of the result.
“A clean sheet and three goals away from home, against a side on top of the table, so we know we can do it,” he told the Newcastle Weekly.
“I think the past couple of weeks, we probably didn’t create as much as we would have liked and we lacked a bit of intensity going forward.
“Our performances sort of strayed away from our strengths.
“At the weekend, we were able to get back to a lot of the stuff that we showed in pre-season.
“We can go forward quickly and catch teams out, so it was good to see that.
“But, the boys in defence deserve praise, too.
“Mark Natta and Phil Cancar have done a good job.
“There were some individual mistakes the previous week, they happen.
“However, at this level, you get punished for them.
“Everyone keeps saying that we’re a young group.
“So, I guess the more games we play [together], the less errors you’ll see.
“It was great to bounce back and witness some good individual performances by the defence.”
As for his own effort, Scott was equally pleased.
“Obviously, the win’s the first and foremost but, for me, a clean sheet is massive for us or for me and my defence,” he said.
“You know there’s a platform if you’re not conceding.
“It gives you a much higher chance of winning the game.
“We made a couple of errors last week, lapses in concentration, and we were dealt with by a good side in Melbourne City.
“But, we cut that out this week and were able to keep a clean sheet.
“The other positive aspect was executing the game plan.
“We did a lot of work on Wellington, their strengths and where we could hurt them.
“Rob (Stanton) sets us up each week to win the match… and it’s up to us to go and execute it.
“The Phoenix clash was probably the best we’ve done at that.
“We trained hard through the week, too… we don’t just rock up on the day and try to score goals.
“Clearly, we try to nullify them and find areas we can do the most damage.
“I feel like we executed that to a tee.”
Newcastle next faces the Perth Glory – a side 11th on the ladder – at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday 16 December from 6pm.
“It’s a huge game for us,” Scott said.
“It doesn’t matter who we play… if we don’t capitalise on last weekend’s performance, it sort of means nothing.
“Plus, we haven’t won at home yet.
“So, there’s an added incentive there.
“We’ve got to put on a good performance, make sure we win the match.
“Also, I think it’s important to give our home fans a taste of how we played last week because we need them behind us throughout the season.
“We must string together consecutive victories.
“And, it’s something we’ve touched on.
“If we can grab back-to-back wins, it’s big in this league as much as successive losses hurt you.
“We need to take the momentum from last weekend into this one.
“Although it was terrific to win, in the grand scheme of things we’re still not sitting where we want to be.
“We don’t want to be a team that wins here and there.
“It’s imperative to keep moving forward in our development.
“We must build on last week and make sure we can get on a bit of a run leading into Christmas.”
For more sports stories:
- GALLERY: Hundreds turn up to play ball with Jets stars
- ALW: Matildas star Vine upsets spirited Jets
- ALM: Taylor masterclass enables Jets to sink ladder leaders 3-0
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