Newcastle Jets content to counter - Jones

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With the speed of Andrew Nabbout and Co. up front, Newcastle were happy to sit back and let Melbourne City "over-commit" in Coffs Harbour

Newcastle Jets coach Mark Jones says a clear pre-match plan to unlock Melbourne City on the counterattack was vital to his side's 2-1 win.

Although the Jets have been trying to establish a possession-first approach this season, Newcastle were happy to remain compact at the back in Coffs Harbour as Andrew Nabbout's brace proved the difference on Friday night.

Nabbout's first goal came from a classic counterattack, with Ma Leilei's first-time chip over City's defence releasing his team-mate, who rounded visiting goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis to score.

The second goal also came when City had pushed forward, with Andrew Hoole driving up the pitch with the ball at his feet before teeing up Nabbout to score from 25 yards.

"We knew on the counter we could hurt them," Jones told Fox Sports.

"We knew if we sat they would over-commit and we thought we could pick them off and score two or three goals. It's worked out that way.

"We blocked a number of shots, we hung in the game and I thought we should have put it to bed [earlier]."

Nabbout's two goals boosted his tally to seven for the season and Jones argued the winger's stellar breakout season comes as no surprise.

Jones was part of the coaching setup at Negeri Sembilan during Nabbout's stint with the Malaysian club.

"He had plenty of potential, he just needed to play regular football," the Jets' boss said.

"He's playing regular football and he's showing what he can do.

"In Malaysia we pushed him to get up and back and work hard and that's carried over to here."

Newcastle have moved back into the A-League's top six with their victory over City but will drop out again during the course of the weekend if Wellington Phoenix or Western Sydney Wanderers win their respective matches.

 

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