Newcastle Jets Head Coach Scott Miller expects to see the fruits of his side’s pre-season labour come to life when the club hosts battle-hardened Melbourne Victory in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 MD 3 on Wednesday night.
On Monday, Miller’s men entered their sixth week of pre-season training at Ray Watt Oval at the University of Newcastle ahead of the clash at Magic Park in Broadmeadow.
Miller told reporters that the Westfield FFA Cup has provided a focus for his team since the very first day of pre-season.
“The first day of training was leading into this fixture,” he said.
“[On Wednesday night] I want to see a flow over of what we have been working on here in terms of our overall style.
“My expectations are high, but also realistic. I am expecting us to produce a technical passing game through the thirds, aggressive movement, and also key passes.
“We have to be more potent in attack this season.”
He added: “I want the definition of our performance on Thursday morning being that it is a new culture here in terms of playing style - a more aggressive style.”
“It is vital that our mentality is right going into the game. We want to progress to the next round but more importantly on the back of that if you do progress to the next round there is obviously a performance that underpins that.”
“I am looking for a lot of energy, a lot of aggression, and putting a lot of pressure on Victory,” he said.
In 2015 the Jets took on Perth Glory in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32, and narrowly missed out on progressing to the Round of 16 after losing 4-3 on penalties with the score locked at 2-2 after 120 minutes of play.
That game was Miller’s first competitive fixture in charge of Newcastle, and he knows Victory - who have played high-profile friendlies against Juventus and Atletico Madrid over the past week - will arrive in town desperate to take the first step towards defending their Westfield FFA Cup crown.
“Every competition that they [Melbourne Victory] go into they want to win,” Miller said.
“And they have certainly got the personnel, infrastructure and the support to do so.
“I certainly don’t think they will be coming here to treat it as a trial game - they will be coming here to lift the trophy down the track.”
Historically the Jets have enjoyed a strong record against Victory in games played in Newcastle. Indeed, from the 16 Hyundai A-League matches between the two clubs in the Hunter the Jets have won eight (8), there have been five (5) draws, while Melbourne have won three (3) times.
And Miller says he still has some key decisions to make regarding the make-up of his starting side.
“I have got a pretty good indication, but certainly there is a lot of competition within the squad at this point and we’ve got a few guys who have missed training the last few weeks who have been recovering very well and will be in contention [to play],” Miller said.
Newcastle Jets vs. Melbourne Victory - Westfield FFA Cup 2016 Round of 32
When: Wednesday 3 August 2016
Where: Magic Park, Broadmeadow
Gates open: 6:30pm
Tickets: Please click here to purchase tickets to the match
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