Newcastle Jets striker Emile Heskey says he will not mind the attention of Central Coast defenders if it frees up team-mates in Saturday’s game.
After enjoying an impressive start to his stint in the A-League with five goals in his first six matches, Heskey has been intensely marked by opposition defences and has failed to score in his last three outings.
Mariners defender Patrick Zwaanswick said this week that keeping Heskey quiet will be a priority in this weekend’s match.
But the former England international feels if Central Coast focus solely on him, it will be to their detriment.
“They can put extra attention on me, but there are 10 other players that can do damage,” Heskey said at training on Friday.
“We have good players here, so if they do put more attention on me, that will create space for someone else.
“We just have to play our game. We haven’t got any tactics against one particular individual. We just have to play our game and hopefully we will get the result.”
The Jets inflicted the Mariners’ only defeat of the season so far with a gritty 2-1 win when the teams met earlier in the campaign.
However, Heskey believes his side cannot take too much out of that game.
“We’re a few more games into the season now and everyone is aware of how people play and what to do to combat that, so it’s going to be a different game to the first derby,” he said.
“Derbies are derbies – they are meant to be fierce and they are meant to be fiery.
“Having played in one already it is no different. Everybody wants to win the game.”
The talismanic striker paid tribute Mariners youngster Tom Rogic, who will miss this weekend’s game as he is on national duty with the Socceroos.
“For me he (Rogic) is one of the best players in the league,” Heskey said.
“I enjoy watching him to be honest so it will be nice not to be playing against him.”