Jets coach Gary van Egmond has stressed the need his side to maintain its momentum with a win over the Melbourne Heart at Hunter Sports Stadium on Saturday evening.
Jets coach Gary van Egmond has stressed the need his side to maintain its momentum with a win over the Melbourne Heart at Hunter Stadium on Saturday evening.
After more than a year without an away win the Jets put have entered a purple patch of form with seven points on the road including away victories over the Roar and Sydney FC to lift them in the top six for the first time since November.
But van Egmond said their away form would be nullified if his team was to fail to continue the trend at home on Saturday.
"All of the hard work that we did when we played Adelaide away, we played Brisbane away, we played Sydney away gets undone if we let our home games go," van Egmond said at training on Friday.
"So we know for us to be a team that is going to compete as a team in the top six we need to take maximum points at home."
"We would obviously love to have a win and not only for the fact that we would like to keep the momentum going but we'd like to do it here at Hunter Sports Stadium in front of our members and supporters and I feel that is vitally important that when we turn out here we can give the fans something to cheer about.
"The performance is still very critical for us. But again to get those three points is vital. We have a chance to leap-frog Melbourne Heart into fifth spot if we were to get the three points and that is a real big opportunity.
"If we were to lose it is going to make it very difficult to get into that fifth spot and we would encourage all of the teams behind us to get into the six as well, so when you are at home you want to always collect maximum points."
The Jets coach acknowledged the Heart would be desperate to arrest their slide which has seen the Melbourne team collect just three points from their last seven games and winless since their thrilling 3-2 victory over the Victory before Christmas.
"They are a good team, well organised, well coached and they look to control the game," van Egmond said of the Heart.
"We know we are in for a good game and I think it should be a good spectacle. Both teams will look to play and both teams will try to control the match so I think it will be an entertaining game."
"They come to us a little bit different to how Sydney play, they a rigid 4-3- we know a lot about them in regards to how they play, we play a similar way most times they are a team that like to control the game and have some good individual quality and we believe we are in for a tough game but we are ready for it."
Van Egmond also made a special mention of youngster Craig Goodwin who had a dazzling debut for the Heart last start against the Victory, but said his side wouldn-t be changing anything to deal specifically with the dynamic left-fullback.
"He did well and obviously he is a talent but we know a little bit about him because he played for Oakley which was Arthur Pappas's (The Jets Youth team coach) team down in Melbourne, so we weren-t so surprised by his performance as we had been told through Arthur of his qualities," van Egmond said of Goodwin.
"He did well and it is great to see another young Australian talent coming through. But we are talking about a left back and they have a number of players we need to look out for.
"Eli Babalj up front, Alex Terra , the like of (Kristian) Sarkies now running the midfield, Rutger Worm is another good player, their impact players.
"But for us it is more about controlling how they can play and how we can disrupt their play and take advantage of that. It will be a good battle."