GCU out to break hoodoo

Gold Coast assistant coach Paul Okon has said that Wednesday night's fixture with Newcastle is the perfect chance to reverse the 'voodoo' of two losses and close the gap on the top two after results on the weekend went in favour of United.

Gold Coast assistant coach Paul Okon has said that Wednesday night's fixture with Newcastle is the perfect chance to reverse the 'voodoo' of two losses and close the gap on the top two after results on the weekend went in favour of United.

Branko Culina's Jets did the men in the yellow a favour on Sunday when they downed Melbourne 3-2 at EnergyAustralia Stadium. The Victory's loss and Gold Coast's draw with Adelaide has now seen United move to within one point of last year's reigning champions who sit in second place on 35 points.

"We've got a chance on Wednesday because we are the only teams playing and hopefully we can end the so called 'voodoo' that Newcastle have on us and climb up the ladder," Okon said.

"Newcastle are the only team who have beaten us twice this season so of course there is that to play for but more importantly we want to try and close the gap on first and second."

"At the moment Newcastle are the in-form team in the competition and the boys are aware of that, hopefully that gives them the motivation to go out and win."

Okon stated that Newcastle's edge wouldn't change United's mentality, with a proven formula beginning to evolve at Skilled Park. The Jets inflicted Gold Coast's first defeat in the Hyundai A-league back in Round 4 and then took all three points with a 3-2 win in Round 19.

"I don't see too many changes in the way the team will play, it's been working at home, we haven't lost for a while and hopefully that'll be the case on Wednesday night," Okon said.

"But at the same time Newcastle have a bit of momentum with the run they've put together."

The former Newcastle captain did acknowledge that it was unusual for Gold Coast to struggle against a side that liked to play a passing game, Okon highlighting that United tended to stumble against more physical teams looking to throw ball-players like Jason Culina and Zenon Caravella off their game.

"Newcastle play football and they've managed to do that better than us on two occasions," he added.

"I think they are one of the better teams in the competition, they like to play the ball around which is strange because we've struggled against teams that have been more physical against us."

Okon pointed to Newcastle's 31-year-old striker Michael Bridges as one of the players United has to look out for, with the former Leeds striker playing a pivotal role for the Jets on Sunday notching up an assist as well as a goal in the 45th minute.

"They've been scoring quite a few goals and Michael Bridges has made a big difference," he said of Bridges.

"He's a very experienced player, he's a goal scorer and he also sets up goals like he did on Sunday for Mat Thompson's first goal. The boys at the back have to be aware of him because at anytime he can strike."

"They've got a bit of youth about them as well and at the back they've been quite steady with Ljubo Milicevic and (Nikolai) Topor-Stanley, I think they are a well balanced side and it will be a good game."

After playing on Saturday night Gold Coast have had an extra day of rest and with warm humid conditions expected, the added recovery time could well play a part in a match that is worth more than just three points for both sides.