Jets to psyche out Sydney

Newcastle Jets midfielder Jacob Pepper believes his side's new found confidence will be the telling factor in Sunday's crucial F3 derby against rivals Sydney FC.

Newcastle Jets midfielder Jacob Pepper believes his side's new found confidence will be the telling factor in Sunday's crucial F3 derby against rivals Sydney FC.

The Jets broke their away form drought this season with a gritty 1-0 win over Brisbane last week to go with a solid 1-1 with Adelaide in a mid-week clash in Bathurst and Pepper said the team's recent form on the road has the team full of self belief.

Sitting second last just two weeks ago, a win this weekend will see the jets leapfrog their F3 rivals into sixth place on the table. In contrast Sydney have gone off the boil since breaking the Roar's unbeaten streak in December and have won just one of their last seven games.

"We knew we had a hard road ahead with three away games in a row but to get four points on the road from the first two games has been a real boost to our confidence and hopefully we can continue that this week," he said.

"It is one of the most important matches of the season. If we get a result it will put us in the top six which is where we want to be leading up to the back end of the season.

"So this weekend is massive and especially it being an F3 derby, I know the boys can't wait. It is always one of the best matches in the season."

Pepper said his team's recent form was a testimony for sticking to coach Gary van Egmond's pressing game, which has come under scrutiny as the Jets slipped to second last on the A-league ladder.

"I think to change things around from the start is obviously going to be a hard thing but it is a slow process," said Pepper.

"We are starting to show in our past couple of games where we have gotten a result and we are playing some good football and hope that will continue through the back end of the season."

The Jets will be without in-form defensive midfielder Ben Kantarovski who is away for the next four weeks with the Olyroos team, but Pepper, who will have the task of marking Sydney dangerman Nicky Carle, says Newcastle has the personnel to fill Kantarovsvki's role.

Skipper Jobe Wheelhouse, who is back from a lengthy injury layoff can play back in his favoured midfield role, while Ruben Zadkovich, Labinot Haliti, James Virgili and Ali Abbas have also been included in the Jets squad for Sunday's clash.

"It is a big loss but we have the cover to fill his shoes," Pepper said.

"I will try to do my best Nicky Carle is a good player and I respect him but when it comes to game day I will do anything it takes to get over him."