Friday Night Football returns to AAMI Park this week as we take an in-depth look at Melbourne City FC’s next opponents, the high flying Newcastle Jets.
Confidence is back under Miller.
He may be the youngest ever manager in Hyundai A-League history, but new Head Coach Scott Miller has given the Newcastle Jets a new lease of life in Season 11.
Having impressed with wins over reigning premiers Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix and going within two minutes of a draw against grand finalist Sydney FC, the Jets are already just one win away from equalling its 2014-15 campaign total, with Miller's injection of enthusiasm and confidence permeating throughout the rest of the squad.
The 34-year-old has utilized a decade’s worth of experience in the English Premier League to rebuild his Newcastle outfit from top to bottom. The Jets have patched up the holes in their defence - they needed to after conceding a whopping 50 goals last season - frustrating opponents with a much more organised and disciplined defensive unit.
But it is also in attack where Miller has weaved his magic. Midfielder David Carney is reborn after enduring a torrid campaign last season, while Brazilian playmaker Leonardo and striker Milos Trifunovic have given the Jets added bite in the final third.
Flying high in fourth position on the Hyundai A-league table, the Jets will be an entirely different proposition for City on Friday night.
Defence is the best form of attack.
Buoyed by a clean sheet against a formidable Melbourne Victory attack in Round 3, the Jets’ revamped defensive structure has been the key to their superb start to the Hyundai A-League season, despite having to field a different back four in each match due to injuries and suspension.
Captain Nigel Boogaard and Daniel Mullen were instrumental in curbing the influence of Besart Berisha. The Albanian striker hardly had a sniff against the Jets’ centre defensive pairing, with both Boogaard and Mullen paying close attention to the Albanian striker whenever he received possession near the penalty area.
With City striker Bruno Fornaroli banging in the goals for fun, the Uruguayan striker can expect similar treatment at AAMI Park on Friday night.
Carney leading the resurgence.
After enduring a dramatic A-League campaign last year, The former Socceroos defender has enjoyed a bright start to the season thus far with two goals in the opening three fixtures - including an unstoppable long-range effort in the Jets 1-0 win over Melbourne Victory.
Playing further up the field in an advanced midfield role, Carney has been the catalyst of the Jets resurgence under Scott Miller, forging a damaging partnership with Brazilian playmaker Leonardo in the final third.
A threat from set-pieces with a cannon of a left foot, the 31-year-old will look to continue his excellent start to the season against van’t Schip’s side on Friday.
Hoffman returns to AAMI Park.
After five seasons and 80 matches for Melbourne City FC, Jason Hoffman will return to AAMI Park for the first time since re-joining the Newcastle Jets at the beginning of the 2015/16 season.
The defender has occupied the right-back position in each of Newcastle’s three opening fixtures, and will come up against an in-form City attack reeling with confidence after an impressive 3-1 win over the Central Coast Mariners in Round 3.
The Novocastrian has seamlessly slotted into the Jets rearguard under Miller and will certainly be a familiar face for City players and fans at AAMI Park.
Last Time We Met - Melbourne City FC 4-0 Newcastle Jets, AAMI Park - March 14 2015.
Goals to Kew Jaliens, Harry Novillo, David Williams and Iain Ramsay proved too much for an underwhelming Newcastle outfit, as City continued its march towards the Hyundai A-League finals series with a dominant display.