Newcastle coach Phil Stubbins is wary of a Brisbane Roar rebound on Friday night but says the return from injury of Adrian Madaschi and Billy Celeski will give the Jets a massive boost.
Both Madaschi and Celeski joined the Jets in the off-season but have yet to make their A-League debuts for the Hunter club.
Former Socceroo defender Madaschi, who joined from Perth SC, has battled thigh and calf injuries.
Experienced midfielder Celeski, who played more than 100 games in the A-League for Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory, has been out with a groin complaint.
The pair is in the frame for roles against the Roar at Hunter Stadium.
“Adrian Madaschi is back in contention for the Brisbane Roar game,” Stubbins told FourFourTwo.
“He's been out for quite some time and it will be good to welcome the big fella back.
“It certainly adds strength to our roster when you get an experienced player like Adrian fit and available along with Billy Celeski who is also ready to play.
“They both certainly add weight to our challenge and we're pleased to see them both back.”
The return to fitness of the duo is timely with the loss of Johnny Steele, who has been granted indefinite leave by Newcastle. Stubbins declined to comment on Steele’s situation.
Newcastle will also be without Andrew Hoole who is on Olyroos duty.
Stubbins is expecting a tough game against Brisbane, who like the Jets have yet to win a game this season.
“Brisbane Roar are the champions of the A-League and with that comes a level of expectation, which presents added pressure for them to win games,” Stubbins said.
“They've lost matches by short margins to date and everyone knows there a great team, yet it hasn't been the start they would have expected and you can see by the frustrations between their players that their hurting at the moment.
“We're in a different period to Brisbane presently with our efforts to try improve each week as we transition towards the standards we want as a team and so far we've shown that.
“We're getting closer to that win and we're coming off a pretty galvanised group performance against Melbourne Victory so were looking forward to the challenge of facing them on Friday night.
“We'll be up for the game in front of our home supporters and we plan to make life as difficult as possible for them. They've got the quality but we welcome the challenge of showing ours against them too.”comments