Newcastle Jets star Libby Copus-Brown is confident the A-League Women’s (ALW) side can return to the winner’s circle this weekend.
After some impressive performances in 2023/24, the Gary van Egmond-coached outfit slipped back to eighth place on the ladder following a shock 4-0 loss to Melbourne Victory in round four.
However, the gifted midfielder admitted the team was keen to atone for that effort against Melbourne City FC at Newcastle No. 2 Sportsground on Sunday 19 November.
“It’s a strange thing to say, but I think that [defeat] could be a good thing for us,” she said.
“It has definitely shaken us up a bit.
“And, it’s probably made the girls aware of what we need to do better.
“At the end of the day, we didn’t execute the game plan well enough… and it showed.
“I don’t necessarily believe that it’s a good thing that we needed it.
“But, now that it’s happened, we should use it as fuel.
“Plus, good sides bounce back from these setbacks.
“So, we’ll learn from it.”
Melbourne City, occupying second on the ALW table, registered its third victory, via a 4-3 triumph at the expense of the Western Sydney Wanderers in its previous outing.
They also boast a particularly strong record over Newcastle.
Copus-Brown said past results would count for nothing.
“We need to focus on ourselves,” she told the Newcastle Weekly.
“We know they have good players, but so do we.
“We’ve been working hard at training this week, too.
“As long as we stick to the game plan and execute it properly, I think we can beat any team in this league.”
Another positive for the Jets is taking the field at Newcastle No. 2 Sportsground.
“We’re all excited to be back there,” Copus-Brown said.
“The atmosphere at No. 2 is always a good one.
“It’s almost like playing with an extra player.
“We also train there, so we know what the pitch is like.
“I’m sure playing at No. 2 will be a massive advantage for us.”
The Lambton Jaffas junior made her debut with the Jets in 2013, donning the jersey on 38 occasions.
She then spent time with the Wanderers and Lewes FC in England before returning to the Hunter.
“It’s definitely home for me,” Copus-Brown said.
“Lambton was my local club side before joining the Emerging Jets when I was about 12.
“I then went right through the system.
“But, I’m happy to be here again.
“I get along well with everyone.
“Also, I know what Gary’s like and what to expect from him.
“I honestly believe he brings the best out of me, whether it’s hard to cop or not sometimes,” she added with a laugh.
“Playing with the Wanderers was a good experience for me.
“When you enter a new environment, you’re learning new things off different coaches, you’re playing a different game style and you’re playing with different players.
“I was kind of out of my comfort zone a little bit, so I had to adapt.
“I think putting yourself in uncomfortable situations not only improves you as a player, but as a person as well.
“However, I am glad to be home.”
Copus-Brown is now focussed on lifting Newcastle to the top.
“Obviously, I’m keen to have a good year,” she said.
“And, from a team perspective, we’re pushing for the play-offs.
“Newcastle hasn’t made finals for a long time, so we want to be back in the top six because it’s a good club.
“The fans are brilliant… and I feel we have the side to do it this season.
“Everything’s coming together, so we need to make sure we’re consistent week-in, week-out.”
Meanwhile, skipper Cass Davis returns from a foot injury, which stopped her incredible streak of 132 consecutive appearances since her debut, while Matildas star Emily van Egmond joins the squad for a guest stint.
The match kicks off at 4pm.
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne City
(Sunday 19 November, No. 2 Sportsground)
4pm – A-League Women
- Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Izzy Nino, 2. Josie Wilson, 3. Claudia Cicco, 4. Natasha Prior, 5. Emily van Egmond, 6. Cass Davis (c), 7. Gema Simon, 8. Rebecca Burrows, 9. MelindaJ Barbieri, 10. Libby Copus-Brown, 11. Kizinga Ndjoli Exaucee, 13. Lauren Allan, 15. Alex Huynh, 18. Sophie Hoban, 21. Kiara Rochaix, 22. Lorena Baumann, 23. Zoe Karipidis, 24. Milan Hammond, 25. Lara Gooch, 28. Emma Dundas
- Melbourne City squad: 3. Naomi Chinnama, 5. Taylor Otto, 6. Leticia Mckenna, 7. Julia Grosso, 8. Kaitlyn Torpey, 9. Holly McNamara, 10. Rhianna Pollicina, 11. Emina Ekic, 13. Rebekah Stott (c), 14. Laura Hughes, 15. Kiera Meyers, 16. Karly Roestbakken, 17. Hannah Wilkinson, 18. Leah Davidson, 19. Tijan Mckenna, 20. Caitlin Karic, 21. Isabella Accardo, 23. Melissa Barbieri, 24. Daniela Galic, 44. Lysianne Proulx
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