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Van Egmond rests key Jets

Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond will rest Emile Heskey and Michael Bridges from Sunday’s A-League match with Melbourne Victory.

Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond will rest Emile Heskey and Michael Bridges from Sunday’s A-League match with Melbourne Victory.

Midfielder Zenon Caravella will also miss the clash at AAMI Park after pulling his hamstring during Wednesday’s 2-1 win against Wellington Phoenix in Wellington.

Sam Gallaway is also a doubt after suffering a knee injury in a heavy challenge from Corey Gameiro, who earned a yellow card for his efforts.

“I think he hyper-extended his knee,” Van Egmond said of his defender. “But they can settle down pretty quickly so we’ll just have a look at that one.”

The Jets have already played Brisbane Roar and Wellington in the space of five days and will back up against Victory before playing Perth in Newcastle the following Friday.

“We’ve already stated that we’ll definitely rotate the squad with the heavy schedule that we’ve got. Emile and Bridges will be rested for the next game.”

Bridges broke his duck for the season at Westpac Stadium, nodding home a Craig Goodwin free-kick just before half-time.

Earlier in the match, teenage striker Adam Taggart had claimed his first goal for the Jets after getting on the end of a low cross from Josh Brilliante.

It set up the Jets’ first win in Wellington since 2007 and also ended a winless streak on the road this season that stretched back to November 10, despite Jeremy Brockie clawing one back for the home side.

“It was always going to be a difficult one. We know how good a record the Phoenix have here,” said Van Egmond.

“We were under no illusions about how difficult the game was going to be. But we’re coming to the business end of the competition and if we could get the win then it was going to be pretty difficult for the Phoenix to get into that top six.

“It buoys us along for the rest of the season.”

Following the sudden resignation of Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert on Tuesday and Wellington’s desperate need for a win to keep their slim finals hopes alive, the match had the potential to be a banana skin, something the Jets boss had been well aware of.

“We spoke about the fact that today was Wellington’s grand final,” he said. “If you weren’t ready to win the battle you could be in for a hard night.

“We also spoke a lot about what we needed to do in regards to creating opportunities and to keep the ball. In the first half I thought we had some very good play.”

Newcastle also had a departure of their own to contend with after Ryan Griffiths’ shock move to Beijing Baxy FC.

Taggart stepped up to fill that role up front but Goodwin played a big part in getting the Jets forward.

“We played him on that left-hand side and I thought he did quite well,” said the Jets coach. “He’s starting to understand the positioning a lot better.

“I thought early on we were very good with Ruben (Zadkovich), Zenon and Bridges in that midfield.”

Van Egmond also expressed his sympathy for Herbert.

“There’s nothing worse than seeing a colleague not working in his profession and from where he’s been a long, long time,” he said.

“He’s got a lot of respect within the whole of the footballing community.

“We all understand that death and taxes are inevitable but as a football coach so is being sacked.

“I know that Ricki wasn’t sacked but that’s what comes with the job. You’re under no illusions of that.

“I’m sure now the Phoenix are going to try and put things in place for the rest of the season and look to build on it for the following year.”

Wed 27 February, 2013
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