Jets still have work to do

Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond has suggested his team still needs 'a bit of work' with the start of the 2008/09 Hyundai A-League season less than two weeks away.

Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond has suggested his team still needs 'a bit of work' with the start of the 2008/09 Hyundai A-League season less than two weeks away.

Last season's coach of the year indicated the defending champions were far from their best after the three Pre-Season Cup matches which culminated in a disappointing 1-0 loss to Melbourne in Port Macquarie on Saturday afternoon.

"It showed a few players up in terms of when we got pressed high up the pitch by Melbourne and it answered a few questions for us, so it was a good hit out," van Egmond said after Saturday's match

"We really worked them hard and they didn't have a day off this week so it was our meaning for that to happen so now we start to freshen them up for our first match (of the Hyundai A-League season) against the Central Coast."

The Jets drew their first two matches of the Pre-Season Cup with van Egmond trialling a number of younger players in the squad, but the weekend's loss to the Victory showed a number of structural and attacking deficiencies in the Newcastle team.

"The biggest disappointment was the way we were playing out," expressed van Egmond. "We changed our system in the second half and went back to a three man defensive line but even then we still weren't looking for the ball in particular … and it made it quite difficult for us to play ourselves out."

"We didn't carry the ball central and were our own worst enemy trying to carry the ball too wide at times. We need to work on that a little bit but it comes down to some of pour players who have not had as much experience at this level - so it become s a test of time."

However, the Newcastle coach was far from unhappy with the performance and said there were a number of positives to take out of the match.

"The positives were a lot of the boys got 90 minutes under their belt," he said.

"It was good to see Noel Spencer got 90 minutes, Joel Griffiths came through and it was good to see Jesper (Hakansson) get 90 minutes, so on that side of things it was good."

"It was good that we have no suspensions for the first game - everyone was on tenterhooks in regards to that."

"There were passages of play that we did quite well in the first and second half, but overall, from my point of view we were pretty disappointing in the last third, attacking third and a bit devoid of ideas but hopefully that will be fixed up with the return of some players; (Jin Hyung) Song could move back up there and a new player Edmundo could go in - so we have a number of options and it is up to us to gel as a unit prior to our first game against the Central Coast."