A-League: Jets skipper Nigel Boogaard insists job far from complete

DROUGHT BREAKER: Nigel Boogaard celebrates after scoring the Jets opener in the 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Darren Pateman (AAP)
DROUGHT BREAKER: Nigel Boogaard celebrates after scoring the Jets opener in the 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Darren Pateman (AAP)

NEWCASTLE Jets have broken a cluster of club records and sit in second place, a finals spot almost assured, with eight games remaining.

But captain Nigel Boogaard, though encouraged by the upwards direction, won’t be satisfied until the Jets have “achieved something”.

“Everyone is saying we have done this and we have done that, but in my mind we haven’t done anything yet,” Boogaard said after the 2-0 triumph over fellow title hopefuls Melbourne Victory.

“You only remember a season if at the end of it you are successful; have a good crack and have a shake at the title. If we can do that, in my mind, it would be a successful season.”

Boogaard, who ended a 15-month goal drought with a glancing header to open the home side’s account against the Victory, is adamant the Jets are yet to reach their peak and pointed to the win on Saturday as an example.

“There is room for improvement,” he said. “Even though we won [against Victory], there is a lot to look at. We have played well in patches of games but I don’t think there has been a 90-minute period where we have put it together 100 per cent. You are never going to get that against the good teams. They are able to stem the tide and come back at you at some stage. It is about making sure come finals time we are firing.”

The two goals against Victory took the Jets tally to a club best 41 for the campaign.

They have scored in a record 19 games straight, have the most wins for a season (11) and have accumulated 37 points, passing their previous best points tally (37).

Asked what areas needed work, Boogaard said: “We can defend better. We still give away too many cheap corners and foul and give the opposition chances to score. I am not sure how many corners and freekicks they had tonight but they did put us under pressure. I think controlling the game, especially in the middle of the park, dominating field position and being able to dictate the pace of the game is something we can work on. If we can get those combinations up front even sharper and slicker and get more numbers into the box, we can really hurt teams.”

The Jets have been four days off to freshen up and resume training Thursday.

“Its nice to unwind and let the body recoup,” Boogaard said. “It’s good to switch off mentally too.”

The Jets on Monday unsuccessfully applied to have expunged a yellow card handed to Andrew Nabbout for a head clash with Victory keeper Lawrence Thomas.

The attacker was booked after he collided heavily with the keeper as they were both going for the ball.

Replays showed that both players had eyes on the ball but referee Shaun Evans ruled that Nabbout was late. 

Under A-League guideline, cards can only be overturned due to obvious error or mistaken identity.

The booking was Nabbout’s fourth for the campaign.

Thomas was taken off the field on a stretcher but has been cleared of serious injury and is in line to play this weekend.