IN DOUBT: Craig Goodwin, right, at Jets training yesterday. Picture: Peter Stoop
SWISS defender Dominik Ritter sat out training yesterday and housemate Craig Goodwin failed to finish the session, but Jets assistant coach Craig Deans was confident both would be fit to take on Wellington Phoenix at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.
Ritter had soreness in his left quadriceps after getting through 90 minutes in his return from injury in the 2-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday.
‘‘We did not expect Dom to get through 90 minutes on the weekend,’’ said Deans, who deputised for ill coach Gary van Egmond yesterday.
‘‘It might take just a little bit longer to settle down. Come Friday he will be right.’’
Goodwin, who covered for Ritter at left-back in a game against a fringe XI yesterday, received a knock on his right shin and limped off early in the second third.
‘‘He keeps getting kicked in the same spot,’’ Deans said.
‘‘He had the shin pad on today to protect it. I don’t think it will stop him playing but when you get a kick on the shin bone it gets pretty sore.’’
After a spectacular start to the season, Goodwin’s form has dipped in the past two games.
‘‘It is tough for a young kid,’’ Deans said. ‘‘When you come in and have a few good games early on ... it does put a lot of pressure on a young player.
‘‘He obviously has more attention from the opposition now.
‘‘Any attacking player in any competition in the world will be marked for special attention. He is a good kid, a diligent kid with his football, and will continue to work hard.’’
James Virgili made an impact off the bench against the Wanderers and is likely to come in if Ritter or Goodwin do not recover.
‘‘Chilli has done well all year,’’ Deans said.
‘‘Some games suit Chilli and some are not necessarily games for an out-and-out winger.
‘‘But he has done really well, whether he has started or come off the bench.’’
After opening the season with a win and two draws, Wellington have lost their past three to slip to ninth place.
But they will arrive in the Hunter with a degree of confidence having beaten the Jets in their past five encounters by a combined margin of 13-2.
“We’ll have a good look at Wellington on Friday and see where they’re at and how they’ve been playing in the last couple of weeks, but we pretty much know what to expect from them,” Deans said.
“They’ve got some good individuals in the front third in Brockie, Ifill and Huysegems, who has come in this year and scored some good goals for them.
“They’re always a threat in the front third.
‘‘They work hard as a team, they’re well organised as a team.’’
The Jets are fresh from a 2-1 win on the road over Western Sydney Wanderers, their fourth win in six games.
“We’ve scored at least two goals in every game, bar the first game against Adelaide, so that’s a real positive for us,” Deans said.
“We just need to tighten up the other end because you can’t keep relying on scoring two or three goals every week to win games.’’