Griffiths welcomes pressure

The Jets' decision not to chase an overseas marquee striker has been welcomed by Newcastle goal-scoring forward Ryan Griffiths.

The Jets' decision not to chase an overseas marquee striker has been welcomed by Newcastle goal-scoring forward Ryan Griffiths.

The Jets have one place left on their roster for the 2011/12 Hyundai A-league season but coach Branko Culina has ruled out chasing a big-name striker to fill the spot.

Instead the club is putting its faith in its current line-up and that means more responsibility on the shoulders of players such as Jeremy Brockie, Labinot Haliti, Marko Jesic and Griffiths.

"I enjoy pressure and I have had pressure pretty much throughout my whole career," Griffiths told Sportal recently before a Jets pre-season clash in Newcastle.

"Playing overseas in places like Romania there was an incredible amount of pressure week in, week out if you didn't score. So you end up feeling that and learning it and it gets into your system."

"In terms of us not getting a striker, it is a little bit disappointing, but as Branko has been saying - we do have good strikers here."

"Even tonight we are competing for positions, so in one respect it is going to be beneficial but in another it would be great to have a striker there week in, week out banging in those goals and it is just up to us to step up to that challenge."

Griffiths revealed that Culina has been trialling different combinations upfront to find the best fit and the team that runs our for the first match of the season in October could be a surprise.

"It is still a long way from the start of the season and in our trial games we have been experimenting with different combinations up front, and I think the coach is just settling on finding the best balance - he is not rushing it, which is the best thing," Griffiths said.

"There are positions that you like to play and positions that you are not used to playing in."

"The other night Jeremy Brockie played left back and he did a good job. So who knows what position you may end up playing when the season starts?"

"I have practically played every position and in one game I played in six different spots - versatility is part of the modern game."

Griffiths only scored one goal in eight appearances for the Jets last season and knows he will have to up the ante should he wish to earn his keep at the club and live up to the successful Griffiths name at the Jets.

His older twin brothers Adam and Joel both enjoyed fruitful stints at Newcastle. It is Joel, as a fellow striker, that he feels more competition with.

Joel won the golden boot in the 2007/08 A-League season with 12 goals and scored 25 in total with the Jets. And Ryan and Joel recently enjoyed some friendly rivalry when playing for Beijing Guon in the Chinese Super League.

"Personally, I want to outdo my brother all the time," Griffiths said.

"In Beijing two years ago I beat him by being the top goal-scorer, and the next year he got me. So it is a good competition."

"Brothers always want to beat their brothers. I want to score as many goals as I can this year."