A-League: F3 derby win does not alter Jets flight path says Topor-Stanley | video. photos

SO CLOSE: Nikolai Topor-Stanley was denied by the post in the 5-1 win over the Mariners. The defender hopes to improve his strike rate in front of goal. Picture: Sproule Sports Focus
SO CLOSE: Nikolai Topor-Stanley was denied by the post in the 5-1 win over the Mariners. The defender hopes to improve his strike rate in front of goal. Picture: Sproule Sports Focus

NIKOLAI Topor-Stanley has been in the A-League too long to get carried away by one result – good or bad.

The towering defender played a key role in the Jets’ 5-1 rout of the Central Coast Mariners on Saturday.

The result set a number of club records and propelled the Jets to the top of the table after round one for the first time in eight years.

Although pleased with the result, Topor-Stanley emphasised it was only one game. 

“We have to keep our feet on the ground and be humble,” Topor-Stanley said before a recovery session on Monday.

“We are very pleased, but it’s one win, let’s put it in perspective. We have a long way to go. Our expectations have to always be high no matter what the result. We have set out goals, we want to be right up there competing for things. That win hasn’t changed anything.”

Roy O’Donovan was named A-League player of the week on Monday after the Irishman’s hat-trick heroics against his former club.

Joe Champness and Dimi Petratos also hit the target in what Topor-Stanley hopes is a sign for the future.

“I knew with our front third – they have been on fire all season – that they had goals in them,” he said.

Topor-Stanley was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet himself, denied by the post after getting his head to searching Dimi Petratos freekick in the 22nd minute with the scores at 1-all.

“The keeper got a finger to it,” he said. “It was on target. That is half a goal in my books.”

Topor-Stanley, who stands 191cm, is a genuine threat from set pieces but hasn’t scored a goal since the final round of the 2013-14 season.

It is a statistic he is keen to improve, especially with the precision of Dimi Petratos and Ronny Vargas from dead-ball situation.

“That is part of my job description,” he said.

“I have to be up there. I set myself a target of scoring a handful of goals every season.

“It hasn’t come off that way, but I still believe in myself and believe I can score.”

At the other end, Topor-Stanley and defensive partner Nigel Boogaard were dominant. Topor-Stanley made nine clearances and three interceptions and won everything in the air.

“I thought Nikolai was outstanding,” coach Ernie Merrick said. “His partnership with Nigel was top class.”

The goal the Jets conceded came from a corner, which skimmed the head of Mariners defender Jake McGing and went in off the leg of Spaniard Asdrubal.

“It is never pleasing to concede from a set piece as a defender,” Topor-Stanley said. “We will look at it and I’m sure the coaching staff will give is feedback on where we can do better.”

Next for the Jets is Perth Glory at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday and the dynamic attacking duo of Diego Castro and Andy Keogh.

“They have a plethora of attacking options in that team so we will be up against it,” Topor-Stanley said. “But we are at home and we also have a great arsenal. That was clear on the weekend and in pre-season.”