Jets looking to get on roll
ADAM Taggart won’t find a side in the mood to let him boost his claims for an Asian Cup berth with the Socceroos as his former club Newcastle Jets strive to kickstart their season against Brisbane Roar tomorrow.
The striker secured the ALeague’s golden boot in season 2013-14 while playing for the Jets and his form since linking up with Roar has him being talked about as a real contender for Graham Arnold’s squad as they look to defend their title in the UAE next month.
The Roar striker was an injury doubt ahead of today’s clash but has been named in John Aloisi’s squad to face Ernie Merrick’s men.
But Newcastle’s Ben Kantarovski insists the occasion is not about Taggart. It’s about the Jets striving to get the results that they believe their football deserves.
“We know about him and while we don’t focus on one player, we must close him down and not give him chances,” Kantarovski said.
Newcastle has managed just one win from its opening six games but the experienced midfielder insists it is anything but panic stations.
A paltry return of just five goals in those six games hasn’t helped matters but there’ll be no deviation from the way Ernie Merrick wants to play and the squad belief remains firmly intact.
“I think that’s the thing about our squad, we know that no matter what we’ve always got goals in us and those goals will come as long as we play our style of football,” Kantarovski said.
“We are playing some good football. We’re not down at all. The results will come. We won’t compromise our style.”
The Jets will be without marquee man Ronny Vargas due to a groin injury but Brazilian winger Jair is named in the squad after missing last week’s 3-0 defeat by Melbourne City.
Kantarovski described the performance in that loss as “uncharacteristic” but said lessons had been learned.
Newcastle goes into the clash boasting the wood over its visitors. The Roar failed to muster a single point in the three A-League clashes between the teams last season.
“Look, it’s good to know (you’ve beaten a side in the past) but they’ve got a new squad this season,” Kantarovski said.
As for the visitors, they also welcome Frenchman Eric Bautheac back into the squad but Stefan Mauk misses out through suspension.
“We must close him down and not give him chances” BEN kANTARoVSkI
CA Under 19 Male National C’ships
Brisbane’s Adam Taggart attacks against Adelaide