McGree: F3 Derby rout can spur Jets to finals glory
Hat-trick hero Riley McGree believes Saturday night’s F3 Derby drubbing of Central Coast Mariners could be the super-charge his side needs ahead of the Hyundai A-League Finals Series.
The Jets tore the Mariners to shreds in Gosford, with McGree’s stunning treble helping Ernie Merrick’s troops to a record-breaking 8-2 win.
It was a timely return to form for the Hunter club, who had lost three games in a row prior to their derby rout.
And McGree hopes the eye-catching result and performance will be a turning point for the club in their first finals appearance in eight years.
"Yeah it’s very good [result for us]," the 19-year-old told Fox Sports after the match.
"We needed a confidence booster.
“We needed to get a result here leading into the semi and we did."
The match was effectively over inside 25 minutes as the Jets raced to a 3-0 lead thanks to goals from Joey Champness, Roy O’Donovan and McGree.
And they went on with it after the break, with McGree completing his first career hat-trick, while O’Donovan, Lachlan Jackson and Dimitri Petratos also got on the scoresheet.
"I think it was a great result by the lads but there are definitely things to work on as well,” McGree conceded.
"I think defensively and the decision-making in attack - too many cheap giveaways.
“We could have created many chances and scored many more goals I believe."
The Jets get next weekend off before a home grand final qualifier at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday, April 27.