Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond has decided to keep the same starting XI for Friday night's clash against Brisbane Roar.
Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond has decided to keep the same starting XI, including veteran duo Michael Bridges and Emile Heskey, for Friday night's Hyundai A-League clash against Brisbane Roar.
Bridges earned his first start of the season in last week's 2-0 win over the Melbourne Heart, partnering former fellow English Premier League star Heskey in an attacking midfield role behind teenage Qantas Socceroo striker Adam Taggart.
And van Egmond looks set to reward the successful combination again against the two-time defending champions.
"I would suggest that Michael will start again," van Egmond said on Wednesday.
"He did really well in his first game back where he was starting rather than coming off the bench. He did really well and again he's really looking forward to the contest.
"We have got a few bumps and bruises still, but I'd envisage that we'd have that (same) first eleven."
The Jets have been suffering this season through inconsistency which is in some part a product of the fact that they are yet to field the same starting side two weeks in a row this campaign.
However van Egmond said that starting the same XI at last would go some way to helping them string together some positive results.
"You change a team sometimes through suspensions or injuries and we've had to balance that a little bit with national team selections and the other part of it is results," he said.
"From my point of view I'd really like to have a more settled XI and you feel a lot better as a group when that XI becomes so easy to select.
"This week I felt it was obviously a no-brainer for us to be able to select that XI, where as other weeks you're tossing and turning in regards to which players to play because you're just not settled on it.
"It is a lot easier for this week."
Last week's man-of-the-match Zenon Caravella is the only player in doubt for the fixture but looks on target to overcome a hamstring injury to take his starting place against Roar.
James Brown has been brought into the squad as cover but looks likely to start from the bench or play with the Jets' Youth League side if Caravella is fit to play.
"Zenon is the only one that I would suggest has a little bit of a question mark over him. He trained fully today, and we'll see how he comes up tomorrow," van Egmond said.
"The reason he came off last game was due to his hamstring, it just got tight so we took him off as a precaution.
"He has had one day off with it, trained for a half session on Monday and today he trained fully and he felt good but we'll just see how he pulls up.
"James Brown has had some time out with injuries and personal things so he has been doing well at training so I added him to the squad.
"He will either be involved with us to a degree or he will play with the young ones (Youth League) - either way he will get some game time this weekend."