A-League: Boogaard urges Jets to look at mirror rather than table


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JETS captain Nigel Boogaard has urged his teammates to look at the mirror rather than at the table and ask whether their individual performances “are good enough”. The Jets’ season is in danger of spiralling after a 2-0 loss to Perth Glory at HBF Park on Sunday left them in seventh place on 15 points. The defeat was their fourth in five matches and widened the gap between Newcastle and sixth-placed Wellington to 11 points with 11 games remaining. “When you are in this position you can’t look at the table, you can’t rely on other teams doing you favours, you have to concentrate on each week and each opposition,” Boogaard said. “If you start to look ahead and work out how many points you need, that becomes the main focus and I think that is a dangerous mindset to take into a game. “The biggest thing for us now is to individually look at our own performances. Be honest with each other in terms of our performances and what we are bringing to the table – ask whether it is good enough.” READ MORE: David Lowe’s take on week to forget READ MORE: Robert Dillon’s match report At the same stage last season the Jets were in second place on 33 points and had scored 35 goals, more than double their yield of 15 this season. Sunday was the second time Perth have held the Jets to nil this season and the fifth game overall in which Newcastle have failed to score. “Everyone wants to refer back to last season and what we did well and everything like that,” Boogaard said. “But it is a vastly different beast this year. We are a different squad, we are coming up against teams who know what our strengths were from last season and are counteracting that. We have to be smart enough to break them down. The biggest thing is individually. The game plan, the tactics … everything can be right but if individually we are not at our best, then we are not going to get results.” The Jets face an equally desperate Western Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Friday night. Wanderers sit a place and five points below the Jets. ​“They are obviously in a similar position to us,” Boogaard said. “There will be a lot at stake in that game. The good thing is that there is still a lot of football to go and teams are going to take points off each other. “The mentality is that we can still get there (play-offs). People are probably thinking that we are delusional. At the end of the day, mathematically we are a chance and we have confidence in the squad that we can do that. But we need to fix a few key things that will hopefully turn the tide for us.” On Sunday, Andy Keogh put Perth ahead in the 16th minute after midfield maestro Diego Castro found space in behind. Then, three minutes into the second half, Neil Kilkenny curled a shot from 15 metres inside the right post “They had the percentage of possession but they weren’t really doing much with it,” Boogaard said. “It was more a lapse of concentration from a couple of us at the back to allow Castro to get in behind. I still felt we were well in the match and we were confident we could get something out of it stepping out into the second half. Then to concede the way we did, straight after half time, takes the wind out of the sails. Against a team like that who are already structurally sound and defensively strong, to come from two goals behind was always going to be difficult.” The Jets had two claims for penalties late turned down but Boogaard said “regardless of the VAR we weren’t good enough to take anything from the game”.

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