Jets forced into changes

A combination of suspension, fatigue and form has forced Jets coach Gary van Egmond into making a number of changes to his squad for their Hyundai A-League clash against Wellington on Friday night.

A combination of suspension, fatigue and form has forced Jets coach Gary van Egmond into making a number of changes to his squad for their Hyundai A-League clash against Wellington on Friday night.

The Jets midfield will undergo a major overhaul this weekend with skipper Jobe Wheelhouse suspended after being red carded in last weekend's 2-1 loss to Sydney, while van Egmond has chosen to rest veteran Kasey Wehrman due to fatigue concerns.

"(The reason was) the six-day turnaround which is not obviously advantageous for him (Wehrman) at the moment and the travel and obviously we have a fairly heavy workload coming up with the game on New Year's Eve and the one against the Gold Coast (on January 4) fairly quickly," van Egmond said.

"We felt that probably this was one for him to miss and basically recuperate from the season that he has had so far and get himself in the best physical preparation that he can and look forward to training when we are all back.

Defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley is back from a hamstring injury and will partner Brazilian centre-back Tiago, who has been named as captain, in the middle of defence.

But van Egmond revealed that Taylor Regan, who filled in for Topor-Stanley last week, would more than likely take over the defensive midfield role from Wehrman.

"I think Taylor will play this weekend," he said.

"I am pretty sure that everyone agrees that he has been doing extremely well and the formation that we will play will allow Taylor to show more abilities of his that maybe people don't realise - he has great organisational skills, great passing range so he is not limited to a backline."

The other major change will be up front and it will involve a tweaking of the coach's preferred 4-3-2-1 formation.

After last week's loss van Egmond hinted that he needed to give striker Francis Jeffers more support and he confirmed that they had worked on that in training this week.

"We definitely think we have to get people more in contact with our No.9 how we do that is with a 10 but more so a nine and a half if you like. So we will look to ensure that we have more support for the person up front," he said.

"We have to play someone closer to the No. 9 if that is Francis, of whether it is Bridgey (Michael Bridges), who has been doing well at training, or someone like Ali Abbas or Ruben (Zadkovich) or even dropping Ryan (Griffiths) into there.

"We have worked on it (at training) and it seemed to have worked a lot better. But it is not only with the ball but our defensive shape as well and where people have to go to and what they have to do when we lose the ball."