HAPPY DAYS: Captain Nigel Boogaard (second from left) is mobbed by teammates after scoring the Jets opening goal in the 2-0 triumph over Melbourne Victory at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Darren Pateman (AAP)ERNIE Merrick is not about to tell new Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk who to the select but the Jets boss doesn’t believetrump card Dimi Petratos can do much more.
SCOUTING MISSION: New Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk (right) in the stands at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday. Picture: Darren Pateman
Van Marwijk ison whistle-stop tour of and was in the stands at McDonald Jones Stadium for the Jets’hard fought 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory on Saturday. It was the second ofthree A-League games theDutchman will attended as he assesses talent ahead of friendliesnext month against Norway and Colombia.
If it was an audition,Petratos certainly out-shined Victory opposite and Socceroos regular James Troisi.
Eye-catching audition: Dimi states case for Socceroos as Jets soar to new heights TweetFacebook”Dimi has been performing really well all year. It is not just a one-off, he is a consistent performer.”
Ernie MerrickErnie Merrick not about to tell Socceroos coach who he should pick but very happy with the performance of Dimi Petratos and a number of other @[email protected]@newcastleheraldpic.twitter苏州美甲/uHsjHkDKNa
— James Gardiner (@JamesGardiner42) February 3, 2018
Merrick was equally impressed with Boogaard and central defensive partner Nikolai Topor-Stanleyat the other end of the pitch.
“I thought the two of them were immense defensively,” the coach said.“Theyare among the best combinations in the league.”
It wasn’t the most fluent performance from the Jets. Indeed, they relied on desperate defending and a series of superb saves by Jack Duncan to bankthree points.
“Anyone onthe ball was closed down very quickly,” Merrick said. “We defended extremely well throughout the game from the back four to our midfield to our front runners. The longer the game went on, especially with us up 2-0, they were going to throw numbers forward and we had to weather that storm.”
The win propelled the Jets to 37 points –the most in a season in their history – and leaves them within touching distance of a home final, despite eight rounds remaining.
“It wasa bit of a rehearsal,” Merrick said. “Next time we play Victory it will be in the finals, the way the cards look like they will fall. We really have to work on keeping the ball in midfield, defending well and getting numbers forward. We did pretty well.”
The Jets have four days off and don’t play again until Friday week away to Western Sydney.
“We have played consistently well all year,” Merrick said.“We have played 19 games and lost four.I don’t want mental fatigue, I want them fresh. The best time to have a breakis when you have just won a match against a quality side.”