Sasho wants more
Sasho Petrovski believes he has a point to prove with the Jets this season.
Despite scoring a brace on his home debut for Newcastle, journeyman striker Sasho Petrovski still believes he has a point to prove with the Jets this season.
Petrovski is the prototype for strikers. He is flashy, flamboyant and lethal in front of goals. He is hated by most opposition fans and certainly the Newcastle faithful 'the squadron' shared more of that sentiment than most with Petrovski continually netting great goals for Sydney and the Central Coast against the Jets in previous seasons.
So it was important for Petrovski to earn the respect of the home fans after joining the 2007/08 Hyundai A-League champions in the off-season. He achieved this with aplomb when he scored two goals on his home debut to lead Newcastle to a 2-0 home win against Korean team Ulsan Hyundai and kickstart the Jets' Asian Champions League campaign.
"I know from previous experience and the history of other players coming here to Newcastle that the fans can turn on you if you are not performing," Petrovski told Sportal.
"I have always got a good record and a good experience from every club I have gone to and to score on debuts or home debuts for each club has been special."
"It is not something that was on my mind but for it to work out that way so to win the fans over so early in the first home game was fantastic for me."
"The fans really appreciated it as well and proved I am not here to muck around I am here to do business and score goals and that is what they signed me for."
Despite this good result Petrovski knows that ‘one swallow doesn't make a summer' and he has to continually score goals to keep his place in a Newcastle line-up that has been bolstered by some quality signings such as Dutchman Donny De Groot, Italian playmaker Fabio Vignaroli and the return of some up-and-coming players (Marko Jesic and Jason Hoffman) from injury
"Every game you have to prove a point," he said.
"There are always punters who will back against you or criticise you so there is always a point to prove."
"But I think it is great. It is enjoyable and a challenge for me here I am at a different club, another one and there are a lot of new players who have come in and they all have a point to prove."
One of the players Petrovski is keen to get a 'working combination' with is fellow striker De Groot, who arrived at the club with a healthy reputation for finding the net.
"Donny's work rate is enormous. He does a lot if the 'dirty work' because he is playing up front a lot alone, so we have to get a combination going," Petrovski said.
"Strikers need service so we need to get some good decent crosses in and for Donny to get on the end of things and start scoring and it is up to the rest of the team to make sure he gets that support."
"He plays that similar role that I have played in. Gary (van Egmond) suggested we might be very similar players so we have Donny in that lone striker role and have me off the ball a bit and it has been working. If it doesn't work we will reshuffle."
"Strikers want to score and we want to poach and in that respect we have a similarity."
Petrovski also stressed the point he is enjoying his time at Newcastle. He is revelling with a new boot sponsor (Nimos), which he says is good because as on 'old guy' he needs all the comfort he can get, and has struck up a good relationship with Jets head coach Gary van Egmond.
"Gary is great. He is a good bloke and a good coach and he has got a good knowledge of the game and we work on a lot of things during training which is even better."
"The other days he said, 'I know you are 34 years old mate but I think we can still teach you a few things.' Which I thought was good. And that is what it is about, respecting each other and learning from each other.
"As long as he's got things to offer me learning wise to benefit my game I can become a better player and I think Gary will appreciate things like that."
Petrovski said he would love to star for the Jets in the upcoming Hyundai A-League season, but for the moment he is keen to impress in the ACL, especially when the team is fighting above its weight against opposition teams with more history and financial backing.
"When you compare the A-League and the J-League with their differences in budgets and what the players earn over there that playing wise I think we can compete it is just the resources they can provide a player during a tournament like the ACL," he said.
"We are trying to prove that we are just as good. These are the conditions we have to work under and we are professional footballers and on the day it is 11 versus 11 and anyone can beat anyone."
"I think we were unlucky in our first game (against Beijing) and it was probably down to me because I had a few chances and it just didn't go in for me," Petrovski added.
"Everyone was disappointed after that first game but we addressed our problems and remedied in for the second game and showed what we could do in the next two games and we are confident of getting some more good results."