Clayton Zane bouyant about Newcastle's finals chances

Newcastle Jets coach Clayton Zane believes his team’s finals destiny is firmly in their own hands following their 5-0 demolition over an undermanned Wellington Phoenix outfit at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.

An Adam Taggart brace and goals to Emile Heskey, Joel Griffiths and Michael Bridges helped the Jets leapfrog Sydney FC on goal difference and climb into sixth place on the A-League ladder.

“Yeah there’s been a couple of weeks where we’ve had a little look over our shoulder and thought are we there yet? We won three out of four there and it wasn’t enough to get us in there,” Zane Said.

“I think more than anything it’s good that the players see now that their efforts for the previous five or six weeks are being rewarded and they’ve got a little taste of what it’s like to be in the six.

“There’s no kidding around here, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

“There’s three very important matches but what it does is obviously buys us a week of not having to play catch up and we can control things a little bit more.”

Zane admitted it was a pleasing result for the team but they needed to quickly focus their attention to next Sunday’s crucial away trip to bogey team Perth Glory.

“Definitely, I said to a couple of the boys at the end to go off and do a lap because it’s not very often that you leave the pitch 5-0 in your favour so it’s more about the boys soaking up and enjoying the moment,” he said.

“I think for the staff already you need to have one eye on the next game, I felt a little bit when it went to 3 or 4 nil my mind was almost wondering across to what’s going to happen in the west next week.

“I really should take some time and enjoy the moment but I don’t think I will allow myself to do that.”

The Jets had previously only beaten Wellington once in their past 10 encounters and Zane felt it was a relief to get a result to keep themselves in the mix for the top six.

“Yeah definitely, slowly the little things that come out of the media statistics wise, we’re slowly starting to kill them off,” he said.

“The problem has been scoring goals (and) we’ve ticked that one off, a big performance like tonight against a team which statistically we haven’t done well against at home so that’s another one ticked off.”

Emile Heskey netted his first goal of the season in the 35th minute with an opportunistic finish from a Ruben Zadkovich corner and Zane suggested it would take some pressure off the former England international.

“The difference when he’s started to come in and play a little bit deeper he has helped the team, his ability to hold the ball up, that’s why he was brought here and I think he’s done a very good job over the 20 month period that he’s been here,” he said.

“But for him tonight it’s probably just about proving to a few people that he does still have a few goals left in him, our team isn’t set up so that Emile needs to score 15 goals throughout the year.

“Taggart’s taken a big load of him but at the same time Heskey’s taken a load of Taggart and helped him develop as an out and out goal scorer.”


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