After a busy week, the Newcastle Jets’ A-League and W-League sides will be hoping for victories this weekend as they try and climb the ladder.
The men’s side has appointed interim boss Craig Deans to the permanent role as head coach, with the team prepared for a crunch clash against second placed Brisbane Roar, which has won four of the past five games.
Right back Jason Hoffman, who made his 150th appearance for Newcastle in the 1-0 victory against Melbourne City last weekend, said recent performances had given the young side a much-needed morale boost.
“In the last three weeks, we’ve been getting on top in games,” he said.
“The last few weeks have shown that, with a little bit of confidence to go with the performances that we’ve put in, you know, we can start climbing that table.”
Hoffman also heaped praise on the work Deans has put in so far this campaign, claiming the side deserved better results for their performances.
“It’s going to be hard to stop us,” Hoffman said.
“[The team has] tremendous momentum at the moment under the current coaching staff and, the way things are going, it’d be a crime for that not to continue.
“We just need to continue developing as a team, getting points along the way, and I’m sure we’ll be in the mix come business time.”
In the W-League, the Jets succumbed to a 4-2 loss away from home against Melbourne Victory, with the team conceding three first half goals.
A spirited second half display produced a fifth goal in six games for star striker Tara Andrews, as well as a goal from attacking midfielder Rhianna Pollicina.
Jets and Matildas left back Gema Simon praised Andrews’ form this season and the improvement of the squad’s younger players, but called for greater consistency.
“I think maybe, as all players in the leadership group, we kind of need to step up a little bit and help the younger ones out a little bit more in games when we’re struggling,” she said.
The “disappointing” result, in her view, was due to the side getting away from the basics and making it hard for themselves to compete in the first half.
She added there were plenty of things to work on in training this week, as the team prepares for another away trip to face a Melbourne City side that boasts the worst defensive record in the league this season, conceding 17 goals in 7 games so far.
“[In the second half] we responded quite well, but, I’m still disappointed with the result. And now we definitely need to be better,” she said.
“We need to kind of get together and make sure that we’re winning games from here.
“I think regardless of what the score will be, we [must] get the three points this weekend.”
The men’s side travels to Brisbane to take on the Roar on Sunday evening, with the clash kicking off at 6.10pm, while the women’s team is away to Melbourne City at 5.05pm on Saturday afternoon.