Jets to rough up Victory

Newcastle midfielder Jobe Wheelhouse has promised Melbourne won't have an easy time when they meet in their Round 21 Hyundai A-League clash at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Sunday.

Newcastle midfielder Jobe Wheelhouse has promised Melbourne won't have an easy time when they meet in their Round 21 Hyundai A-League clash at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Sunday.

The noted hard-man believes the best way to stop any significant influence of Costa Rican Carlos Hernandez and to ensure the debut of countryman Marvin Angulo is a quiet one is some tough but fair play.

"The South Americans don't like to be kicked around as much as the Aussie boys do," Wheelhouse said.

"We have all seen how good Hernandez is in front of goal, whether it's from 10 yards or 30 yards. The best way is to get in his face. A lot of the South Americans don't like the physical stuff."

"If there is a 50-50 ball, none of our midfielders are going to pull out. We will be going into every challenge as hard as we can."

Despite targeting Hernandez for special treatment, Wheelhouse said it would be foolish to isolate just one player and let other players like Archie Thompson have too much freedom.

"The whole midfield has to play tight and shut down every opportunity," he said.

"The same goes with Archie. If they get half a yard, they will punish you. We need to be tight all over the park."

And while Wheelhouse ensured it will be a physical encounter on Sunday afternoon he said he will be trying his best to keep out of the referee's book.

"I am on a bit of yellow card trouble so I certainly want to ensure I play out every game for the rest of the season," he said.

"But they will try and milk as many fouls as they can. We just have to be smart about it and shut down their space."

In other team news, the Jets will be hoping English import Michael Bridges has recovered from a hamstring injury in time to lead the Newcastle attack.

However coach Branko Culina stipulated with an upcoming mid-week game against Gold Coast and another away match against Brisbane next week it would be foolish to rush the Englishman back too early.

"If you ask me if I'd like to see him in the starting 11, yes, I would," Culina said.

"But when you miss a month or so of football, you can't squeeze fitness, ball work and everything in the space of four or five days."

"He has to convince himself. He has been around long enough to know what his body can give him."

"At the moment he is feeling reasonably well. Is that going to be enough for him to take part in the game? We will have to wait and see."