Jets play mind games

Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond believes his side has a mental edge over the Central Coast because the Mariners are emotionally scarred by their grand final loss in 2007/08.

Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond believes his side has a mental edge over the Central Coast because the Mariners are emotionally scarred by their grand final loss in 2007/08.

The Jets beat the Mariners 1-0 in the 2008 Hyundai A-League Grand Final to claim their first and only title and van Egmond believes that fact alone continues to give his side the wood over their local rivals.

"I think that one nagging thing in the back of their minds is that we have won a grand final and they haven't," van Egmond said.

"Which is something until they get over that it is going to be difficult for them in some respects especially with some players who are still in the playing group who were in that grand final against us."

"So I think we have a better edge as far as that is concerned."

The Jets coach also said Newcastle core fan base, The Squadron far outnumbered 'The Marinators' and he wouldn't be surprised if Newcastle's fan numbers outweighed the Central Coast supporters in this Saturday night's derby clash.

"We obviously have better support than they do but again it is all about being successful on that park and we will be going down to earn those three points," he said.

"What would be good if we outnumbered them on their home turf and if that happened I think tour boys would be obliged to turn it on."

"The derby is always the one that you really want to win and the one that you have bragging rights over. I know the boys will be up for it."

"I know that they look forward to it particularly they look forward to trying to get the points at the opposition's home ground.

"And it is a challenge for them to ensure that our fans don't outnumber their supporters. If all that happens then it should be a great spectacle."

The Jets already have some bragging rights over the Mariners from winning their Round three clash 1-0 earlier this season, but van Egmond said the form guide had changed plenty since then.

"I think both teams have changed from that. Last weekend the first half they played against Adelaide was the best any team has played in the A-League this year, out of any team. They were very, very good," he said.

"Arnie (Graham Arnold) has got them playing some good football and has the young boys firing. Young Musti looks nice and fit unfortunately, so they are a well-organised and well-coached team and we are under no illusions as to how tough that game is going to be."

"But I think we have improved from where we were. We got the win that day albeit with a bit of luck here and there, and if you can get six points off the Mariners in a season you will a long way to making the finals because there is not many teams that will get the six points off the Mariners."

All joking aside van Egmond said he and Mariners coach Graham Arnold shared a great friendship and he always looked forward to competing against him.

"I speak to Arnie once or twice a week we are fairly good friends and there is not much to hide, and we know each other's game's pretty well, so I am looking forward to the contest," van Egmond said.

"In one way that is great, as you know what they are going to do, but in another way because they are so consistent at what they do they are very comfortable as I hope we will be too."