A-League: Kantarovski ruled out as Merrick looks to experiment with Jets’ midfield against Western Sydneyvideo, photos

OPTION: Wayne Brown is one of three players in contention to start in midfield. Picture: Simone De PeakERNIE Merrick has opted not to “risk”Ben Kantarovski against Wanderers in Sydney on Friday butthe Jets coach is confident that the midfield enforcer will be over his hamstring issues well before theA-League finals.
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Flight risk: Kantarovski ruled out as Merrick looks to experiment with Jets midfield TweetFacebookHear what @NewcastleJetsFC coach had to say about @wswanderersfc ahead of their Rd 20 @ALeague clash. @newcastleheraldpic.twitter老域名出售/lxLbAkeq5C

— James Gardiner (@JamesGardiner42) February 13, 2018That’s how you open them up. @[email protected]@newcastleheraldpic.twitter老域名出售/EoEEEe8XIh

— James Gardiner (@JamesGardiner42) February 13, 2018

“Ben has been playing really well, but I have always rated Wayne really highly and he will play a major part in this game on Friday night,” Merrick said. “It will give me an opportunity to check combinations we can use if we are down or if we are up, and whether we need to save a game or really go for it.We had a good look at videos this morning on how we want to play.”

In the other change from the Jets’ 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory, Daniel Georgievski returns from suspension in place of Lachy Jackson.

The Jets did not play on the first weekend of the split round. Wanderers pumped Wellington Phoenix for consecutive wins and moved into sixth spot on 25 points, 12 adrift of the Jets.

“I think they are beginning to get into rhythm and play the way Josep Gombau wants them to play, which we witnessed when he was at Adelaide,” Merrick said.“They are playing some good football now having won two games in a row. They will obviously be keen to win a third.”

A win on Friday would shoot theJets seven points ahead of third placed Melbourne City with seven round remaining, but Merrick said his focus was purely on constant improvement.

”I don’t ever mention the position on the league ladder,” he said.“It is about improving all the time and what we can do to get better. Individually, talking to them about their job description and getting it clearin their head.”