NEWCASTLE Jets’ hired gun Roy O’Donovan doesn’t read anything into pre-season results.
He certainly didn’t read anything into the six goals he scored in a 16-0 shellacking of Northern Inland in Tamworth last Thursday.
“It’s nice to win in the pre-season but it doesn’t put any points on the board,” O’Donovan said. “I don’t read anything into results but I definitely do in performances, and every week we are getting better. We are getting fitter and we are forming understanding around the pitch that is going to put us in good stead.”
The Jets take on Melbourne City in a friendly behind closed doors in the Victorian capital on Wednesday.
New City defender, former Dutch youth international Bart Schenkeveld, is likely to play some part. The 25-year-old is one of five arrivals alongside Eugene Galekovic, Scott Jamieson, Iacopo La Rocca and Stefan Mauk.
The Jets will be without Steve Ugarkovic (virus), Jason Hoffman (back), Mario Shabow (hamstring) and Jake Adelson (knee).
“We have City, Sydney and Wellington before the season starts,” O’Donovan said. “That puts us in a good position to be ready for the Mariners game on October 7.”
“It’s nice to win in the pre-season, but it doesn’t put any points on the board.”
O’Donovan, who hadn’t scored six goals in a game since he was a child, is confident the Jets “aren’t far away” and said Wednesday’s game was a chance to work on fitness and combinations.
“There have been signs in the past couple of weeks,” he said. “At times against Adelaide [in a 1-0 FFA Cup loss] that we played quite well. For probably 70 to 80 per cent of the pitch, we played some good football but our final pass was horrendous. We need to be better against Melbourne City. We need to get an understanding of the way to play attacking football and create some chances.”
O’Donovan played at the point in front of Dimi Petratos against Northern Inland.
“I got to play with Dimi in the second game which is the first time we have played together as a nine and ten,” O’Donovan said. “That was good to get to know each other’s movements and runs. Dimi and Nabbout are different types of players. Nabbout brings energy. Dimi has cleverness and hopefully that creates space and chances for me.”
The Jets have two places to fill on the roster and O’Donovan said it was vital that they add to their attacking arsenal.
“It is certainly important that we get another attacking player in because the best teams in this league have a quality front four,” he said.
JETS (likely): Jack Duncan; Daniel Georgievski, Nigel Boogaard, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Ivan Vujica; Ben Kantarovski, Nick Cowburn; Joe Champness, Dimi Petratos, Andrew Nabbout; Roy O’Donovan.