Ahead of Adelaide United’s game against Newcastle Jets this week, Reds defender, Nigel Boogaard, insists the match will be highly competitive, despite the last meeting of the two sides finishing 7-0.
“At the moment they’re playing well,” Boogaard said.
“Maybe a few results haven’t gone their way, but they’re a lot harder to break down defensively and quite dangerous going the other way. It’s not a given that we’re going to win this game and we have to be (at the top) of our game and we have to stick to our game plan.
“They’ll obviously be looking to change things after what we did to them (at Coopers Stadium) and obviously what unfolded after that result.
“It’s going to be a challenge for us. We can’t be taking them lightly and going up there (to Hunter Stadium) is always difficult. I don’t know of any (Hyundai A-League) team that would like to go to the Hunter and play against them.”
And the Reds will need to improve their overall performance in comparison to last week against Melbourne Victory, with United’s no. 3 explaining how he and his teammates were left disappointed as they failed to secure all three points in front of a great home crowd.
“It would have been nice to have gotten three points last weekend (against Victory) and to help stay in touch with the leaders at the top for the moment,” Boogaard explained.
“So we’re focussed this week on what we can improve on and hopefully go to Newcastle and take all the points.
“At the moment I think we’re conceding a little bit more than we would like to. First half of the season we were quite strong defensively and we weren’t conceding silly goals. And I think up front, the boys would probably admit too, we should be converting more of our chances.”
With just five games remaining until the finals commence for season 2014/15, the Reds will need to be in sublime form to compete for the domestic title. Yet Boogaard reiterates the club’s desire to add more silverware to the Westfield FFA Cup trophy already secured last December – stating everyone is desperate to end the season on a monumental high.
“I think you have to concentrate on each game. I know it sounds a bit cliché, but you can’t control any of the other results. Now we have to focus on each individual game.
“Some results have fallen our way, but with a league that’s only got ten teams, it’s always going to happen. There aren’t enough teams to really take enough points away from each other, so it’s always going to be tight and I think it’s going to be tight right until the very end.
“If we can concentrate on (tightening up at the back and being more clinical up front), hopefully we’ll be there, or thereabouts come finals.
“For me, this is probably the best group I’ve been in, in terms of really believing that we can achieve something this year.”
Adelaide United will travel take on Newcastle Jets on Sunday 29 March 2015 at Hunter Stadium in Round 23 of the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Season. Kick-off at 5:00pm (4:30pm ACDT).