United click into gear for Newcastle clash

Canberra United Head Coach Ray Junna was happy with the performance of his squad during the victory over Adelaide United, despite the abandonment, as the greens romped into an early four-goal lead with all the goals coming in the opening twenty minutes.

Canberra United Head Coach Ray Junna was happy with the performance of his squad during the victory over Adelaide United, despite the abandonment, as the greens romped into an early four-goal lead with all the goals coming in the opening twenty minutes.

“Things certainly clicked in the first twenty minutes,” Junna said. “Getting that sort of performance over the whole game is our next target but it-s certainly encouraging as the players are picking up on the kind of things we have been working on so if we carry that form on we should hopefully fare well.”

There was certainly a marked difference in the pace of the game against Adelaide as opposed to the, at times, pedestrian approach to attack witnessed in the successive 1-1 draws with Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory.

“There was better concentration on the weekend. The warm-up was really good and we started like a house on fire with a positive attitude. It shouldn-t need myself or the captain to stand up and state they need to ‘walk the walk- we should be doing that anyway and giving the same performance every week,” Junna continued.

“We talked about getting at them from the kick off with the more senior players taking the lead and we wanted that sort of approach and I-d emphasised how important it was to get off to a good start. But it wasn-t just myself making that point. The players took that on themselves which was very encouraging.”

The inclusion of Grace Gill and Kahlia Hogg into the midfield area due to the injuries sustained by Ashleigh Sykes and Cian Maciejewski showcased the talent that Junna has at his disposal with both players putting in excellent performances.

“We-ve always said our depth has been pretty good and the performance of the players that came in was exceptional and shows their desire and keeps the players in the team on their toes. That-s what you want in your squad, where training becomes high intensity and people become a little more accountable and there-s no slacking off and dropping their guard, because if they do, they could find themselves sitting next to me,” Junna said.

This weekend Canberra travel to Newcastle to face a Jets team coming off the back of a 1-0 loss to Perth Glory after stunning Sydney FC with two late goals the previous week. Junna is under no illusions and knows that this clash is going to be a tricky assignment for Canberra.

“It-s definitely going to be a tough game, but one that we are looking forward to,” he said. “They are a big, physical side but we just need to maintain possession of the ball and keep the switches of play going just to run them around a bit and take the opportunities when it opens up. Our strategy and plans will be the same we have had since day one we just need to be more cautious in transition and make sure we don-t ball watch and they get in behind with their quick attacks like they did against Sydney FC. We have to be better organised when we lose the ball.”

Canberra United-s match with Newcastle Jets on Saturday 11th December will be broadcast LIVE on ABC1 with kick off at 3pm and The Tradies club will be showing the game on its big screen in the new lounge at the renovated club. Some light snacks and drinks vouchers will be provided by Canberra United for guests who wish to watch the match with their fellow supporters.

Canberra United Squad: 1. Lydia Williams (gk), 2. Caitlin Cooper, 3. Lyndsay Glohe, 4. Michelle Heyman, 5. Kahlia Hogg, 6. Caitlin Munoz, 7. Ellie Brush, 8. Tseng Shu-O, 9. Grace Gill, 10. Emily Van Egmond, 13. Nicole Sykes, 15. Sally Shipard, 16. Ellyse Perry, 19. Jennifer Bisset, 20. Jocelyn Mara (gk) In: 13. Nicole Sykes Out: 18. Grace Field Unavailable: 11. Cian Maciejewski (shoulder), 14. Ashleigh Sykes (broken leg)