Jets to get desperate

Newcastle coach Branko Culina has urged his team to show more desperation in their crucial Hyundai A-League clash with Sydney this Sunday.

Newcastle coach Branko Culina has urged his team to show more desperation in their crucial Hyundai A-League clash with Sydney this Sunday.

The Jets head into the Round 16 match having slumped to an uninspiring 1-0 home loss to Wellington last weekend and are desperate for a win to maintain contact with the top six teams as the competition moves past its halfway stage.

"We just need to focus and concentrate and have a little bit more urgency at both ends," Culina said on Friday.

"Last time we played Sydney, we missed a penalty which was a crucial turning point and then they have gone up the field and scored a superbly taken goal, even though we had three defenders around the ball - which shows we weren't urgent enough to get the ball."

"We then gave away a soft penalty when we got caught out in the middle of the park. There is not a lot of big changes we need to make. We just have to ensure that the desperation and urgency are there."

Culina, who briefly coached Sydney FC a few seasons ago, conceded it would be great to beat his old club although he was more concerned with his current side bouncing back from last weekend's disappointing loss.

"This always gets asked when we play Sydney, but really it was years ago. Having said that, it would be very sweet to beat them," said Culina.

"But I think more importantly for us is to get back on the winning track."

"They are also coming off two losses, so their confidence is not going to be sky-high but they are playing at home and they have a good track record against us so they are going to be reasonably confident but not too confident because when you lose two in a row some doubts naturally enter your head."

Boosting Newcastle chances is the news former Sydney FC striker Michael Bridges looks like he will be fit to play his old club after missing last week's match with a hamstring strain.

"Obviously we didn't push him too much but it was positive," Culina said of Bridges.

"He didn't have any major concerns after the training. And I think if he is okay he will probably start, but let's wait and see after tomorrow's session."

In other team news for Newcastle, Neil Young will start in goals ahead of Ben Kenendy, who is still sidelined with a groin injury, while strikers Sasho Petrovski and Sean Rooney also trained with the team on Friday and look likely to be available for Sunday's clash.