Newcastle Jets defender Josh Mitchell believes his side needs to ‘get in the face’ of his former Perth Glory team-mates this weekend.
A Newcastle junior, Mitchell spent the past two seasons at the Glory before returning home to sign on with the Jets this season so he has some insider knowledge of how to win in Perth.
“I know through playing with them what they like and what they don’t like. What they don’t like is teams who come to them and really take it to them,” Mitchell said at Jets training on Tuesday.
“If we give them time and space they’ll punish us. If we get in their face and make a good battle out of it, it becomes an even game.”
Mitchell acknowledged that the Glory have a star-studded side but said Newcastle’s confidence from their best start to a season ever would give them the self-belief to score their first win in Perth in eight years.
“They have plenty of good players. Smeltz and Billy (Mehmet) up front, Steve McGarry is a smart player, Travis (Dodd) scored for the them on the weekend, Liam Miller, Jacob Burns and the list goes on,” Mitchell said.
“They have a good defence as well, so yeah, they have a strong side but they are by no means unbeatable.”
The central defender rejected the idea that the long haul to Perth is the reason why sides find it difficult to win in the west.
“I think it’s more a mental thing,” Mitchell said.
“You just have to go out there with the same attitude as any other game. The time difference and all that doesn’t really matter in my opinion.
“You probably just have to concentrate a little bit more and not be worried about any of the other changing conditions that we deal with.”
The 28-year-old said he is looking forward to seeing some old acquaintances and playing at nib Stadium.
“It’s going to be good to play in front of the Shed again and some friends over there,” Mitchell said.
“It’ll be good to see a lot of my old team-mates over there, and hopefully even better if we win.”