The Newcastle Jets will continue to put their faith in the club’s youth when they face the Central Coast Mariners in the F3 derby.
The Newcastle Jets will continue to put their faith in the club-s youth when they face the Central Coast Mariners in the F3 derby.
With club captain Jobe Wheelhouse (infection), English import Francis Jeffers (ankle) and Tarek Elrich (suspended) sidelined and veteran Kasey Wehrman on the outer, Jets coach Gary van Egmond will go with youngsters Jacob Pepper and Ben Kantarovski in the midfield with Marko Jesic again getting a run up front for this weekend's match.
"The likes of Ben Kantarovski and Jacob Pepper did quite well last week and they are only going to get better with more game time," van Egmond said
"I thought Marko also did well we just have to see how we can get him into more forward areas but there was times there when he got into good positions he just needs to run with the ball a bit more but he is probably still a little bit underdone but he will get better and better.
"Jobe is responding to treatment and should be OK for the following week. Francis tried earlier in the week and he got some pain in the area where he was injured and he has succumb to that and so he won't be playing."
Key defenders Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Ruben Zadkovich return to the Jets squad and will most likely slot straight into the defensive line, although van Egmond was still undecided whether that should be a three-man or four-man defence.
"For us we are looking at whether we go for a three or four on our backline, I felt the players did a good job last week but there were a number of times where we lost the ball so we have to get better with the ball this week," van Egmond said.
"We are looking at the Central Coast and how to play them - they are very well organised and they win the ball well and it is a matter of looking of how we can retain possession and how we retaining possession higher up the park as well.
"So we have been looking at that and looking at different formation on how to break that down. We will get that sorted in the final training session whether we go with three or a four at the back."