Jets ready to fly in ACL

Newcastle Jets skipper Matt Thompson said the team is 'quietly confident' heading into Tuesday night's Asian Champions League match against Korean side Hyundai Ulsan in Newcastle.

Newcastle Jets skipper Matt Thompson said the team is 'quietly confident' heading into Tuesday night's Asian Champions League match against Korean side Hyundai Ulsan in Newcastle.

The Jets suffered a spirited 2-0 loss in their opening ACL match against Chinese side Beijing Guoan in Beijing last week and know they need to register a win this week at home to keep them in contention to go through to the next round.

"The match in Beijing was a learning curve but I was quite disappointed with the result," Thompson told Sportal.

"I think there were plenty of positives to take out of the game - we didn't play that great and yet we could have snatched something there at the end. But we know what we did wrong and we have been concentrating on that this week during training."

"The squad has five new players who are real starting players so it has been pretty tough working combinations."

"Plus we played a different formation in last week's match that we weren't used to and that caught us out a bit. You know when you do it at training it seems alright but when you play against a quality side everything has to be perfect and that wasn't the case."

"We let some slip and we made some mistakes but we have been working on those things and we are quietly confident about Tuesday night's game."

Thompson indicated that the Jets' current squad, which boasts a host of new players including strikers Sasho Petrovski and Dutchman Donny De Groot, Italian attacking midfielder Fabio Vignaroli, and defenders Ljubo Milicevic and Nikolai Topor-Stanley, was vastly superior to the one that finished the 2008/09 Hyundai A-League season in last place.

"Without a doubt," Thompson said. "Last season, a lot of the times we just had the bare minimum, so you would go to training and know you are going to play but with the recruiting we have done there is some real competition for spots and it makes it much more competitive which is good for our game."

And despite the difficulty in honing the combination, Thompson didn't use that as any excuse for last week's loss in Beijing.

"It is really tough to gel together but we have had enough games to do that," he said. "Last week's match was an exception, we just had too many players not performing to their best ability on the night."

"We actually watched a DVD of the game and they were catching us on the counter but for the most part of it we controlled possession, and it was just a lapse in concentration that let them in."

"We know what we have to do so now we just have to get out there and do it."