Jets make changes

The Newcastle Jets have made three changes to their starting side for the Hyundai A-League clash against the Phoenix in Wellington on Sunday.

The Newcastle Jets have made three changes to their starting side for the Hyundai A-League clash against the Phoenix in Wellington on Sunday.

Attacking forwards Marko Jesic (ankle) and Jeremy Brockie (thigh) have overcome niggling injuries and will take their place in the run-on side with Labinot Haliti and Ali Abbas relegated to the bench.

Meanwhile, Ben Kantarovski comes in to the midfield for Ruben Zadkovich who has been ruled out with illness.

Interim Jets coach Craig Deans has also changed the regular shape of his side with Jesic and Brockie starting up front alongside Ryan Griffiths in a very attacking 4-1-2-3 formation.

"It is a different opponent with different styles of football and different weather conditions, plus it is an away game," Deans explained.

"It is almost as important to get something out of this game as it was last week and I have picked a squad and a team that gives us the best opportunity to do that. It meant changing things a little bit and we have."

"It is a massive game for us because it leads into the Mariners game the following week and if we can get a result in Wellington it will hopefully set us up for a big game the week after."

Wellington has not been a happy hunting ground for the Jets with the Newcastle side claiming a solitary victory in seven visits to New Zealand.

But Deans said last week's thrilling last-gasp 3-2 victory over the Melbourne Heart has handed his side the chance to push harder for a rare away victory against the Phoenix.

"Three points is a really important thing to start the season," Deans said.

"It takes a bit of pressure off this game and the boys are really keen to keep the momentum going."

"Last week was a great day for the club - it was a good crowd and good atmosphere and a great way to win a game."

"We do know we have some improvement to do and we know we are not going to score goals like Ryan's free-kick and Byun's deflected goal every week."

"But we have had a look (at Wellington) and we are looking at how we can get some joy against them."

"They work very hard for each other, they are well organised and well coached and very hard to beat at home, but I am quietly confident that we can do well."