|By MARK HUGHES
Newcastle Jets assistant coach Craig Deans said Craig Goodwin will overcome a leg injury to play in Sunday's clash against Wellington, but the youngster's biggest challenge is dealing with the pressure his good form brings.
Goodwin started the season in spectacular form with some eye-catching displays and a goal in the 3-1 win over Sydney FC, but he has since been tightly marked by opposition teams and has found it hard to exert the same authority he had in those early games.
Additionally, the weight of expectation has been such on the former Melbourne Heart man's shoulders that some are predicting him to earn an Australia cap in the near future.
It is a lot of pressure for a 20-year-old, who has played only a handful of A-League games to deal with.
''It is tough for a young kid,'' Deans said.
''When you come in and have a few good games early on and people start talking about things they really should talk about, it does put a lot of pressure on a young player.
"It is how well they cope with it that is important. He is a good kid, a diligent kid with his football, and will continue to work hard.
''He obviously has more attention from the opposition now.
''Any attacking player in any competition in the world will be marked for special attention.
"People like Craig and James Brown are good attacking players and the opposition will do anything to stop them."
Goodwin missed the second half of Jets training on Wednesday with a sore shin but Deans said both he and left-back Dominik Ritter, who has been nursing a quad injury for a number of weeks, will more than likely play this weekend.
"Craig just keeps getting kicked on the same spot, he wore a shin pad today to protect it but got another kick on it," Deans said.
"It's not something that's going to stop you playing but when you get a kick on the shinbone it can be pretty sore, so we're just making sure he's OK.
"Dom is still a little bit sore through his quad, we didn't really expect him to get through 90 minutes on the weekend so it's probably just take a little bit longer to settle down. Come Friday and Saturday he should be fine."
The Jets have named a 17-man squad for Sunday's match against the Phoenix.
Jacob Pepper and Taylor Regan are both unavailable due to suspension while Ben Kantarovski underwent surgery on a knee injury on Wednesday and will be out for at least a month.
Defender Sam Gallaway has been added to squad as has Brazilian Bernardo Ribeiro, who scored in last week's National Youth League match.