Jets' schedule pressure

Newcastle skipper Matt Thompson has said the rescheduling of their Round 25 Hyundai A-League match against the North Queensland Fury has added extra pressure to his side's run to the finals.

Newcastle skipper Matt Thompson has said the rescheduling of their Round 25 Hyundai A-League match against the North Queensland Fury has added extra pressure to his side's run to the finals.

The Jets players were forced to watch the Wellington Phoenix and Perth Glory move ahead of them on the Hyundai A-League ladder while the Novocastrians sat idle in their hotel rooms in Townsville as tropical cyclone Olga battered the North Queensland coast forcing their match against the Fury to be postponed.

Now the Jets are in the situation knowing a loss will leave them in sixth spot just two weeks out from the finals.

The teams that finish third and fourth this season are guaranteed a home final in week 1 of the 2010 finals series. So Newcastle must win in Townsville to maintain pace with Perth and Wellington, and provide a buffer to seventh placed Brisbane, who maintained its late finals charge with a 1-0 upset Sydney on Saturday night.

"It would have been ideal to play when we were scheduled to play," Thompson said on Monday. "But we had a training session yesterday, which was good, and we'll have another this afternoon."

"But we want to make sure that we get that home final, so we have to make sure that we start tomorrow with three points."

"If we lose we make it very hard on ourselves, not only for the next two games but if we get into the top six it's going to be a very tough run to go all the way."

Thompson, who has been one of Newcastle's form players since announcing he will leave the club at the end of the season to join new A-League franchise the Melbourne Heart, said the weather conditions in Townsville was the least of the team's worries.

"We have a seven-thirty kick-off tomorrow it's going to be humid but nothing too different to what we've experienced in Newcastle," he said.

"So we should be sweet."