'His eyes were closed!' Boogaard's banter in Jets defenders' duel
Newcastle Jets captain Nigel Boogaard isn't conceding defeat in his personal scoring battle with Nikolai Topor-Stanley despite his defensive partner breaking their combined duck.
Topor-Stanley got off the mark with the opening goal in Newcastle's 2-2 draw with Melbourne City on Thursday, giving him bragging rights over Boogaard.
But the Jets skipper revealed the technicality he thinks should have them neck-and-neck in their stuttering race to score first.
"He told me after the game that he did have his eyes closed so I don't know if it counts," Boogaard said.
"I tried to set him up for a second, but I think he got bullied by the smallest man on the field.
"We're both competitive, we want to score goals, we want to contribute to the team and make sure we can take a little bit of pressure off that front four.
"At the end of the day, it's good to see him score. Me and him probably need to chip in a little more from set pieces.
"We do have a bit of aerial dominance over some teams, but we need to start capitalising on that."
Boogaard is in the final season of a three-year deal with his hometown club and says while he would "love" to stay, a new contract won't be addressed until the end of the campaign.
Instead, with the Jets flying high in second, the 31-year-old is concentrating squarely on putting space between them and fourth-placed Melbourne Victory on Saturday.
"Our aim at the start of the season – which is public knowledge now – is that we want to make the top four," the former Adelaide United man said.
"It's a big game for us at home on the weekend against Melbourne, and if we pick up three points there, we can kind of put a gap between us and them."