Gary van Egmond says goalkeeper Mark Birighitti will not be looking for redemption when the Newcastle Jets host Adelaide United.
Gary van Egmond says goalkeeper Mark Birighitti will not be looking for redemption when the Newcastle Jets host Adelaide United at Hunter Stadium on Saturday evening.
Birighitti had a forgettable debut performance for the Jets against his old team in Round 1 of the Hyundai A-League 2012/13 season when he conceded a goal in the opening minute before being unceremoniously red carded later in the match for handing the ball outside of the area.
The 21-year-old has recently spent time on the sidelines with a fractured cheekbone after being kneed in the face by Phoenix striker Jeremy Brockie.
Either side of those setbacks, however, Birighitti has been in great form for the Jets and van Egmond believes he will be focused more on maintaining his form rather than having something to prove against the Reds.
"I don't think it is a case that he has to look at this game in any special way, it is more a case of just building on his performances," van Egmond said.
"I think this game is more so about Mark building on what he is doing in regards to his own game,
"He had a set back with the injury and obviously now he is getting more game time experience, so the more that occurs the better he will be."
Despite Birighitti's bright performances in goal the Jets are yet to keep a clean sheet this season and van Egmond agrees team have had to work on their defence.
However, the coach said that work must be balanced with their overall shape and offensive focus.
"I am going to ask if the strikers of Adelaide won't score, maybe that will do the trick," van Egmond joked.
"We are in a position where we will keep on working on our defence. But it can get to a position of players get too mindful and players become fearful of it.
"So it is something we has been identified but we aren't focusing wholly and solely on it because we will lose other aspects of our game."
The Jets are feeling the pressure after a hectic festive programme that saw them lose two games in succession against the Victory and Heart to slide to eighth position on the ladder.
The Jets coach said he is thankful the Hyundai A-League will now be back to a regular week-to-week schedule and that his team have consecutive home games against Adelaide and Brisbane.
"I think it is always easier when you can get into a weekly routine and also from the perspective of us it gives us more time to get injured players back and recuperate for the next game," van Egmond said.
"We have to assess what the players are like - the last thing you want it long-term injuries and that is what you can get from fatigue and from the other point of view you want to ensure people are getting selected on merit and on the form they have displayed.
"We have a couple of games at home, and we want to take maximum points. They are not easy games, but they are winnable and that is something that we need to try to do at home is to get those three points.
"We have to play well on Saturday night and get at Adelaide; really force the issue and put them on the back foot.
"You can see we can play; can knock the ball around, score and make opportunities But we have to take ascendancy and we haven't done that enough in games. And that is what we want to try and do against Adelaide."