Football 3 years ago

Fighting Jets ready for Sydney attack

  • Fighting Jets ready for Sydney attack

Newcastle defender Daniel Mullen says last week's clutch defensive effort will give them plenty of confidence for Saturday's A-League home-opener against Sydney FC.

The Jets bagged the maximum three points in their 3-2 upset of Wellington in round one, despite playing the last 13 minutes with 10 men after skipper Nigel Boogaard was shown a second yellow card.

Expected by many to struggle for wins this season without a true marquee on the roster, Newcastle showed plenty of fighting spirit that will provide momentum against the competition heavyweights this weekend.

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"Nigel's our leader so when he went off, it was a real test of character, and the boys were outstanding," Mullen told AAP.

"To soak up the pressure that Wellington were throwing at us was a real test and we passed that quite well.

"When you get that kind of win, it does give you a bit of confidence, and we're going to have to take that into our first home game of the season."

With Boogaard suspended for one match, either one of new recruits Themba Muata-Marlow and Lachlan Jackson will partner Mullen in a new-look defensive centre-pairing.

Mullen, 25, said he had plenty of belief in the squad's backline depth to stand up to Sydney's star-studded front-line of Alex Brosque and Filip Holosko.

"We've got enough quality in the team for someone else to come up and step in," he said.

"It's a chance for them, whoever it may be, and we'll work on that in the next couple of days."

While pleased with their defensive showing, Mullen admitted the team needed to improve on an attack that tallied just six total shots - the second lowest of the weekend.

"Offensively, we're going to have to build on the first game and see if we can keep possession a little bit better and see if we can hurt Sydney more," he said.

"Because when we create chances, we're very dangerous. We'll see if we can create more in this game."

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