Watson back for crucial Jets clash

Adelaide United midfielder Cameron Watson will return from injury on Friday as the Reds make a charge for a top-two finish and a home final.

Josep Gombau’s men travel to Hunter Stadium to play the Newcastle Jets who must win to keep their slim finals chances alive.

The Reds are fourth on the ladder with 38 points and a win could see them leapfrog Western Sydney and the Mariners to go second depending on other results.

However if Adelaide lose, and both Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC secure victories, sixth spot beckons.

“It’s a massive game for us and them,” Watson said.

“I think they will come out very attacking being at home, and a finals spot up for grabs.”

Watson is available for the crunch match after missing Adelaide’s dramatic 2-2 draw with Melbourne Heart through hamstring tightness.

The defensive midfielder has made 14 A-League appearances this season and has been a regular starter in Gombau’s side since round 14.

Securing a home final is the Reds main aim heading into the match, Watson said, but he has no preference as to who Adelaide plays in the semis.

He added: “I think come finals time everybody wants a top four finish.

“For me, every match will be a spectacle. Each team is a threat in the finals so I think playing at home is very important and that’s what we are aiming for.”

The Reds are unbeaten in their past four games and the 26-year-old credits Gombau and the coaching staff for the side’s impressive recent form.

“Their continuous hard work since pre-season is paying off slowly,” he said.

“Also the whole squad has been outstanding. Taking in instructions and also being patient as we knew the gaffer’s way was going to click at some point.

“However, there is still so much hard work to do to get to where we want to be.”

Watson also believes Gombau is a worthy recipient of the A-League All Stars coaching role.

“I think it’s great for him being it’s his first season in the A-League,” he said.

“It shows how much the public appreciate what he’s doing.”