Dimi Petratos remains unfazed about changing positions and becoming the new man in the middle for the Newcastle Jets.
Petratos, who turns 25 next month, will take over the central attacking No.10 role for Sunday’s home clash with fellow undefeated A-League outfit the Western Sydney Wanderers.
The winger shifts inside for injured teammate and club marquee Ronny Vargas, who is recovering from surgery on a broken and dislocated ankle suffered in the weekend’s 2-1 win over the Roar in Brisbane.
During training on Thursday natural attacker Petratos moved into the space normally occupied by Vargas and afterwards said the switch naturally involved some different aspects but didn’t put him in completely unfamiliar territory.
“Well I’m not on the wing any more, so I’ve come into the middle and it’s slightly different,” Petratos said.
“But I’ve played the No.10 role before and I feel comfortable there.”
Read more: Vargas vows to return as soon as possible
Petratos played down feeling any more responsibility in the Jets’ XI now without the Venezuelan international, who will remain sidelined for most, if not all, of Newcastle’s 2017-2018 campaign.
“I don’t really feel that way, it’s just another game,” Petratos said.
“Everybody’s got the same responsibility in the attacking third. No one does it on their own so we’ve got to combine in the front third and continue to score more goals how we have been the last three games.”
Petratos, who played 125 matches for Sydney and Brisbane from 2010, could end up there for the rest of this season and takes goal scoring form into the upcoming fourth round encounter at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Read more: David Lowe on Ronny Vargas injury
Two of his 21 A-League goals have been netted in the opening three games, featuring a cracking 30-yard strike against his former club at Suncorp Stadium.
That one regained the lead at 2-1 on the brink of half-time following an own goal from Jets skipper Nigel Boogaard less than five minutes earlier.
“I just waited for them [the defenders] to back off and have a bit of a gap and then just took my shot,” Petratos said.
Meanwhile, Johnny Koutroumbis was one of three players added to the Jets’ extended squad named on Thursday and Young Socceroo Mark Tokich isn’t available for Western Sydney.
The Wanderers will be playing their third fixture in nine days after losing 2-1 in Tuesday night’s FFA Cup semi-final and leveling Saturday night’s 2-all derby with defending premiers Sydney FC.
JETS SQUAD: 1 Jack Duncan (gk), 3 Jason Hoffman, 4 Nigel Boogaard (c), 5 Ben Kantarovski, 6 Steven Ugarkovic, 7 Dimitri Petratos, 9 Roy O’Donovan, 10 Wayne Brown, 12 Mario Shabow, 13.Ivan Vujica, 15 Andrew Nabbout, 16 Nick Cowburn, 17 Daniel Georgievski, 18 Johnny Koutroumbis, 20 Glen Moss (gk), 22 Lachlan Jackson, 24 Joe Champness, 44 Nikolai Topor-Stanley.
I’ve played the No.10 role before and I feel comfortable there."Dimi Petratos
WANDERERS SQUAD: 3 Jack Clisby, 4 Josh Risdon, 5 Brendan Hamill, 6 Jacob Melling, 8 Roly Bonevacia, 9 Oriol Riera, 10 Àlvaro Cejudo, 11 Brendon Santalab, 14 Jumpei Kusukami, 15 Kearyn Baccus, 16 Jaushua Sotirio, 18 Robert Cornthwaite (c), 19 Mark Bridge, 20 Vedran Janjetovic (gk), 22 Jonathan Aspropotamitis, 24 Raúl Llorente, 25 Chris Herd, 30 John Hall.