Beijing defends selection decision

Beijing Guoan coach Lee Jang-soo has defended the decision to leave seven of his regular team members back in China for Wednesday night's crucial Asian Champions League match against the Jets in Newcastle.

Beijing Guoan coach Lee Jang-soo has defended the decision to leave seven of his regular team members back in China for Wednesday night's crucial Asian Champions League match against the Jets in Newcastle.

The Chinese Super League team, who will play their fifth match in a fortnight, touched down in Australia without seven players from last weekend's match in China but Jang-soo said he was confident his team could win the crucial fixture against the Jets.

"First thing I would like to say we have played and intensive campaign in China in the last few weeks," he said.

"Just before we came to Newcastle we played a Chinese Super League match and then flew 21 hours to get here and then we go back straight after the game for an even longer flight because we have to play another Chinese Super League match away from home."

"But even though we have seven players not playing from last weekend's match this is not the second team - they are all part of the Beijing squad and are all equally important, so we will have a very strong team."

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond said he was still wary of the Beijing side and paid credit to their depth as a squad.

"We are not going to buy into the fact that they have left half a dozen key players back home," he said.

"We know that they are going to be a very competitive outfit. They are desperate for the points as well and they have got their last game at home against Nagoya and that is not going to be an easy game."

"But it might be unfair to label them a 'second team', you always have to be wary of players who have a point to prove and are trying to replace the players who play week in week out."

"It is my understanding that Beijing has been playing Wednesday and Saturday games for the past few weeks, so they are going to be bringing in players who have fresh legs."

"So on one hand you might not have the same quality but on the other hand they are probably the best players for this game here and now."