A rejuvenated Newcastle Jets are set to come off their bye week firing after their new recruits raised the standard in training, says Johnny Koutroumbis.
Carl Robinson’s side have gone five matches unbeaten in the Hyundai A-League, including a 2-1 win against Premiers Perth Glory at McDonald Jones Stadium in Round 21, before they headed for a weekend off competitive action.
But having an extra seven days to adjust to Robinson’s philosophy in the Hunter has the team in a fresh mindset ahead of their Round 23 trip to Adelaide United, according to defender Koutroumbis.
The Jets travel to Coopers Stadium on Sunday, 15 March, with a new outlook having been pushed by Robinson’s reinforcements on the training paddock.
“[Having] the likes of Joe Ledley, and Wes [Hoolahan] back and Bernie [Ibini] is great,” Koutroumbis said.
“It sort of brings up the tempo of training and that oozes down to the younger boys.
“They bring a lot of class and a lot of experience so it’s good for training.
“Coming up against Bernie, Roy [O’Donovan], Wes and Joe in front of us, you learn a view things from them,” he added.
Based on the structure of their bye week, Koutroumbis expects to see an evolution to the Jets’ playing style when the team take to the field in South Australia.
“There’s a lot of information to take on,” he added.
“The gaffer is very enthusiastic. It’s great for all of us boys...
“A lot intensity in training – that’s what he likes – so it’ll definitely show in games.”
Newcastle’s last trip to the City of Churches in Round 9 saw them slip to a 2-1 defeat despite having 31 shots to the Reds’ 13.
That result started a nine-match winless run which spelled the end of Ernie Merrick’s time in the hot-seat and the 22-year-old reflected on a season of missed opportunities.
“It’s been a weird season in some ways,” Koutroumbis added.
“We dominated the Perth game I think in the front third and took our chances well.
“When we went to Adelaide, we dominated possession but we did nothing up front.
“If we’re clinical and we stick to the game plan, we’ll put goals away I’m sure.”
Adelaide United v Newcastle Jets
Sunday, 15 March 2020
Kick off: 5.50pm local, 6.20pm AEDT
Venue: Coopers Stadium