Jets stronger for rest

Newcastle defender Adam D'Apuzzo believes the Jets will be focused against Melbourne this Sunday despite having a week off from the Hyundai A-League.

Newcastle defender Adam D'Apuzzo believes the Jets will be focused against Melbourne this Sunday despite having a week off from the Hyundai A-League.

Newcastle's Round 10 Hyundai A-League match against Wellington was postponed due to New Zealand's World Cup qualifying match against Bahrain last weekend. However, D'Apuzzo said a week off at this stage in the season is a positive for the Jets.

"I think the week off will benefit us," he told Sportal.

"Firstly because it gets your mind off the game and so you have a bit of mental relaxation. Secondly, we've pretty much got a full playing roster because everyone has had a chance to get over some niggling injuries. Everyone has come out pretty good after some time off."

D'Apuzzo said the team had been able to relax mentally but was able to maintain a normal preparation and focus for this Sunday's match against Melbourne.

"We had a game last Friday against the Jets' youth team, so we still had a normal week in terms of playing," D'Apuzzo said.

"The spirits within the team are high because we all know that we are playing well and we are gelling well, we just have to grind out for longer periods of the game to get the results."

"We know we have it in us and we have a full squad now with the young players back from international duties and so there is plenty of competition for positions, so we can only get better."

Focusing on his own game, D'Apuzzo said he is enjoying playing under the direction of head coach Branko Culina, whose 'ball on the floor' style of game suits the young defensive midfielder.

"All year, even from the Champions League, I have been feeling pretty comfortable whether at left back or midfield," he said.

"I prefer to play in the midfield because I think I can express myself a bit more which I think I am showing. So hopefully I think I can keep producing what I am producing."

"I have always liked the European style of play and we like to play out from the back. I am enjoying the football and the fact that the team is achieving the plan is really enjoyable."

In other Newcastle news, the Jets have re-signed injured, but exciting, youngster Marko Jesic for another season. The 20-year-old becomes the third Newcastle player to be signed over the last fortnight, following on from goalkeeper Ben Kennedy and forward Labinot Haliti.