Returning Jets skipper Jobe Wheelhouse said the chance to knock the Victory out of finals contention is great incentive for the Newcastle club in their clash at AAMI Park on Saturday evening.
Returning Jets skipper Jobe Wheelhouse said the chance to knock the Victory out of Hyundai A-League finals contention is great incentive for the Newcastle club in their clash at AAMI Park on Saturday evening.
The Jets currently sit in sixth place on the Hyundai A-League ladder on 31 points and can put an eight-point gap to the Victory with a win over the Melbourne side Saturday. And with just three rounds remaining after this weekend's matches the Victory would need a near-miracle to qualify for the finals.
"We want to go down there and stick it to them and not let them control the game," Wheelhouse told Sportal on Friday.
"We know that they have to win, if they don't a top six spot is pretty much over, so it would be good to not just go down there for the win but to also knock them out of the race, which is the incentive for us."
"We have to treat it like a final like we have been doing with the recent games and string the ball around and control the game."
Wheelhouse, who has returning after missing the last two games due to a groin injury, acknowledged that the Victory side will be on a high after hosting the Socceroos 4-2 win over Saudi Arabia midweek which included outstanding performances from Victory forwards Harry Kewell and Archie Thompson.
"They are probably still on a high from their good performance in the international the other night, so hopefully we can control them," Wheelhouse said.
"We know they are a good side and they probably haven't hit the heights they are capable of this year."
"It is dangerous for us particularly with the calibre of players they have up front. We have to be on our game, if not we will get punished."
However, Wheelhouse also said that the Jets enjoyed playing at AAMI Park and the condition of the pitch dovetailed nicely with Newcastle's possession-based game.
"We are just really looking forward to the challenge and AAMI Park is a great place for us to play - it has a good atmosphere and the ball travels around well so it suits our passing game," he said.
"It was re-iterated to us at training that they haven't been beaten at home so it would be a good time for us to knock them off for the first time this year."