Elrich: Jets can walk the walk

Newcastle Jets defender Tarek Elrich is confident the Jets can 'walk the walk' after a week of promotional jibes against the Central Coast Mariners ahead of Sunday's rivalry round match at Ausgrid Stadium.

Newcastle Jets defender Tarek Elrich is confident the Jets can 'walk the walk' after a week of promotional jibes against the Central Coast Mariners ahead of Sunday's rivalry round match at Ausgrid Stadium.

Elrich, who has been involved in nearly every F3 derby, has been the star of a Jets-led promotional campaign in the local Newcastle and Central Coast media.

The ads state 'there is one major difference between the Jets and the Mariners - the Jets have won a Championship!'

"Yeah I have been on the radio and TV doing that one and it should get them (the Mariners and their fans) fired up - but at the end of the day it is all good fun and just promotion," Elrich told Sportal.

"But of course we wouldn't talk the talk if we couldn't walk the walk and back it up on the pitch and that is what we are aiming to do on Sunday."

"It gets hyped up a bit and they are always good encounters and we don't mind getting stuck into each other. The club has done a good job of promoting this one, so we are expecting a big crowd."

Elrich said the re-appointment of former coach Gary van Egmond to the Jets top job and the signing of former England international Francis Jeffers have been huge pluses.

Even though neither will be involved in the rivalry round match, as both start their tender with the club from Monday, Elrich said it had given the team a psychological boost ahead of Sunday's clash.

"The boys are also disappointed with the last result so there is no better way to make it up to ourselves than with a win against our local rivals in front of our home fans," he said.

"It is a massive boost having Francis Jeffers coming back - when he was here last time we won seven games and we were on fire and the qualities he brings to the team are great."

"Gary didn't win a Championship by fluke he is not only a good coach but he is a good manager and good with the players and he knows how to get the most out of them, so it will be good to have him back."

"He has worked in Newcastle since before the A-League started so there is no better candidate for the job."

In team news the Jets welcome back key midfielder Ruben Zadkovich from sickness while defender Taylor Regan has also been named in an extended 16-man squad.