The Jets have never won in Perth, but their captain believes they are well placed to finally break through after their best-ever start to an A-League season
|By MARK HUGHES
Newcastle Jets captain Jobe Wheelhouse believes his side is ready to finally break their Perth hoodoo this Saturday.
The Jets have never beaten the Glory in Perth in nine trips west, with the best they have managed is four draws along with five losses.
However, after their best-ever start to an A-League season, Wheelhouse is confident this is the year the Jets can change that statistic.
"Three wins on the bounce is quite good. I don't think we have started a season this well since I have been here, so it is good," Wheelhouse said at training on Monday.
"It is true we find it hard to travel to Perth and Wellington and get results but that is just another challenge for us.
"We have to go over there and break the hoodoo.
"[Perth] are a really good side but I think we are good enough and we are doing enough in our games to win and get results which is the most important thing so I am confident we can go there and get a win.
Wheelhouse said he was at a loss to explain why the Jets have such a poor record in the west and acknowledged that this trip would be just as difficult as any in the past.
"I don't think you can put your finger on one thing," he said of Newcastle's winless streak in Perth.
"Obviously the travel is quite hard but mentally as well we haven't won there in a long time and even though you don't like talking about it, stats are stats.
"They have improved out of sight in the last two years and are one of the better teams in the comp - chuck all that together and that is why it is difficult to win there."
Wheelhouse said the squad would not be doing anything different in their preparation this time around but believes the current Jets line-up has the personnel and the self-belief to get their first victory at nib Stadium.
"I don't think we have anywhere near hit our straps in terms of passing and keeping the ball," he said.
"We are showing glimpses of that and we are getting the results but not playing our best so that is an indication of a good team," Wheelhouse said.
"We will be going over there two days before and spending the night there afterwards so there will be no excuses because we will be able to acclimatise.
"The mentality is the main thing. If we can get our heads around the results in the past then I think we are a good enough football side to go over there and win."
The Jets are likely to have a familiar face returning to their squad, with former goalkeeper Matthew Nash brought in on a short-term deal amid concerns for Ben Kennedy.
Kennedy may have to undergo knee surgery, with Nash needed to play back-up to Mark Birighitti as third-choice goalkeeper Jack Duncan is on Australia youth international duty in the United Arab Emirates.