Jets still a work in progress

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond insists it will take time for his team to learn how to play with Emile Heskey but the signs are certainly promising after the Englishman scored his first Hyundai A-League goal in the win over Sydney FC.

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond insists it will take time for his team to learn how to play with Emile Heskey but the signs are certainly promising after the Englishman scored his first Hyundai A-League goal in the win over Sydney FC.

Heskey produced a trademark powerful display and capped it off with a superb finish for his goal as the Jets won 3-2 in front of a record regular-season Sydney crowd of more than 35,000 on Saturday.

While Alessandro Del Piero was the clear fan favourite, Heskey's performance also drew a lot of praise with the Sydney crowd giving him a standing ovation when he was substituted late on.

Van Egmond was another who got plenty of joy out of what the former Liverpool striker showed and has no doubt he can get even better once his side work out how to use him effectively.

"It's about service for Emile and what he can create which you saw the amount of times he held the ball up," van Egmond said.

"We could be a little bit better making sure we get underneath him or get in contact to try and receive that ball or to play off him.

"It's about getting the ball into areas where it's difficult to contain him in that penalty box.

"When you score three goals away from home you should be happy with that and we are but with more luck we could have got a few more.

"It's still going to take us a bit of time. But from last week it was a big improvement and it's definitely the way forward."

Heskey was delighted to have opened his A-League account but was more satisfied with securing the club's first win of the season.

While he's only been with the squad for a few weeks, he can feel the understanding with his new team-mates growing every day.

"We're working with the manager on the training field and you're eventually going to get there, it's only a matter of time," Heskey said.

"I'd only been here a week before the start of the season and haven't had much time to work on stuff.

"We've got some good lads, and some good young lads as well and they're taking in what the manager wants them to do and their listening so the only way is up."

While Heskey was a handful for the Sydney defence, it was youngster Craig Goodwin that was the real star for the Jets.

The pacy winger set up Newcastle's opener, rattled the post with a scorching drive and popped up with the decisive third goal just after the hour mark.

"He's a very dedicated player and I'm so happy for him," van Egmond said of the former Melbourne Heart defender.

"He's the one who after training is doing free kicks, always working on his game so I'm happy for him that he's put in a performance like he has tonight and obviously got a goal as well.

"He has this uncanny knack of beating players which you saw tonight. With a bit of luck could have had a hat-trick ... he's developing very nicely."

The only down side for the visitors was a groin injury to right-back Scott Neville who will struggle to be fit for the Jets' next clash against the Central Coast.