Robinson ponders squad rotation ahead of City clash

Newcastle Jets boss Carl Robinson says he will consider rotating his squad through a congested fixture schedule – starting against Melbourne City on Monday night.

After falling to a frustrating 1-0 defeat to Brisbane Roar on the Gold Coast on Friday night, the Jets return to action with just a three days turnaround when they host City at McDonald Jones Stadium.

The Jets’ schedule comes as Hyundai A-League fixtures are adapted in response to the ongoing situation surrounding COVID-19 and travel restrictions.

Speaking after the clash with the Roar, the Welsh coach suggested he will use the quick turnaround to run the rule over the squad he largely inherited last month – but is not ruling out still pushing for a place in the top six.

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“I thought we looked a little bit leggy I will rotate and I will bring in a number of players,” he explained.

“I need to see the players between now and the end of the year without giving up hope of trying to sneak in the back door [for the Finals Series] because there will be teams that drop points, teams that obviously beat each other.”

Robinson conceded he was frustration by his side’s failure to fashion a single shot on target against the Roar despite bossing over 60% of possession through the contest.

However, he also stressed that his side's performances remains the litmus for his charges game-to-game, despite a remarkable turnaround in results since he took the helm.

“Football is very funny as you know – teams go through runs – and when I come a month or so ago we were at the bottom of the table,” Robinson added.

“I said to the guys back then our focus is on performance. It is not just a short-term fix.

“I am looking at the longer term and the bigger picture and this is how I want to play and this is the type of football I want to play.

“They bought into that and along the way we have got some results. The last two games we have won but we actually played better in the first few games but we drew.”

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One player that has already clearly endeared himself to his new boss is Roy O’Donovan, despite the Irish striker failing to put away a late chance to secure a draw against his former club.

“I was disappointed for Roy that he didn’t obviously take that chance,” Robinson said.

He added: “He played very well without the goal. The goal would’ve been a reward for him but it makes no difference whether he scored to me about what I think about Roy

“I am delighted to have him on board.”