Injured Jets ready for Galaxy

The Newcastle Jets will go into Saturday night's exhibition match against the LA Galaxy without five of their regular team starters but are still keen to put on a good show.

The Newcastle Jets will go into Saturday night's exhibition match against the LA Galaxy without five of their regular team starters but are still keen to put on a good show.

Strikers Francis Jeffers (groin), Sean Rooney (knee), midfielder Ben Kanatrovski (hamstring), inspirational skipper Ljubo Milicevic (ankle) and goalkeeper Ben Kennedy (knee) will all miss the clash against David Beckham's LA Galaxy outfit after suffering injuries over the past few weeks on the controversial EnergyAustralia Stadium pitch.

Newcastle head coach Branko Culina allayed major concerns over the state of the surface, which was relaid earlier this month after a motocross event eight weeks ago tore up the turf.

Instead Culina attributed most of the blame for the recent spate of injuries to his side's hectic A-League schedule over the past month.

"There is no doubt fatigue does play a part," he said. "It is difficult scheduling. If you are going to play this many games the squads need to be bigger."

"We talk about professionalism overseas and say 'they do it' but they also have squads of 35 or so players, we don't."

"I am not an expert in that area but I know when I go for a run and you get tired and you try to push yourself in that last little bit of effort is always difficult that is when you can cause damage to yourself."

"The pitch is getting better all the time, but it is not ideal."

Culina said the injuries had no come at a great time joking that it would be better if the Galaxy came back in 'six weeks time' but said it was part of football.

"The early indications are that Kennedy has medial ligament damage and he will miss quiet a substantial period," he said.

"I am only going on what the medical staff is indicating - Ljubo is two to four weeks, while Jeffers two to three weeks."

The injuries open the door for two Newcastle locals to start for the Jets. Taylor Regan will come into the backline for Milicevic, while Jobe Wheelhouse will take over for Kantarovski in the midfield and will be handed the awesome task of marking Beckham.

"Jobe is a terrific footballer. He showed that last year, he just needs more game time," Culina said. "Taylor has proven that he can step up - he has a level head and a good football brain."

However, the Jet with the most pressure on him will undoubtedly by reserve goalkeeper Matthew Nash.

The 29-year-old will make his debut for the club, taking over in goals for Kennedy and admitted his heart will be leaping out of his chest when Beckham lines up for one of his trademark free-kicks within striking distance.

Culina said Nash, who was signed to the Jets earlier this season as an injury cover for injured back-up glovesman Neil Young, was more than capable of performing in Saturday night's match.

"He is a good goalkeeper, there is no doubt about that," Culina said. "I had him at Sydney FC when I was there a few years ago."

"He was the best goalkeeper in the NSW Premier League last year and that is why we have got him here."

"But of course we want to win," Culina added. "The eyes of the football world will be upon us and we want to make a good impression of not only the Newcastle Jets football club and the region, but the A-League and football in Australia."