Newcastle ramp up pressure on Sydney FC

Sydney FC have "got a bit of pressure on them" heading into Friday's night's NSW derby with Newcastle at Allianz, according to Jets' coach Scott Miller.

The Sky Blues are winless in four games and have been held scoreless in three. 

And with Miller planning to set up Newcastle to "frustrate them in and out of possession", it could be another tough night for Sydney coach Graham Arnold at their "mansion".  

Click here for the official Newcastle Jets site

Click here for the official Sydney FC site

Miller and the Jets copped criticism in their last away match where they failed to take a shot in a 0-0 draw at Adelaide United, but the former Fulham Under 21 manager refused to apologise for his approach on the road.

"I always like points away from home," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"I think it's a step in the right direction and I always look at it as a point gained and two points lost for the opposition.


"Certainly in my time in Europe that was the case and a point away from home you'd be celebrating because it's a great achievement.

"You know, at the end of the season… a point just may be the difference."

Funnily enough, the Jets have picked up seven points from three away games this season, while they have secured just five points from as many fixtures at home.

But Miller will still take a defensive-first approach to Moore Park.

"It'll be an interesting game. They've got a bit of pressure on them… if we can be the right mentality going into that game, not just playing on transition but looking to control it in terms of possession, and frustrate them in and out of possession, it might be a good night for the club."

Sydney skipper Alex Brosque laments a missed chance against Wellington Phoenix.

Sydney's visit to Newcastle earlier in the season involved some controversy after Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti lost some front teeth following a clash with opposition striker Shane Smeltz.

Miller was not interested in rehashing that incident, however, and urged his players to "move on".

The Jets could welcome back Brazilian attacking midfielder Leonardo to the starting line-up against Sydney, although his training has been limited this week.

"He's one we're just going to have to manage week to week, and it's just going to be - in essence - that he'll spend a lot of time inside doing a lot of individual rehab up until later stages of the week," Miller said.

"And he'll participate in the session tomorrow with an aim to obviously start the game."