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JETS FLYING...GVE sees similarities between 2007-08 side and current group
NEWCASTLE coach Gary van Egmond's sense of deja vu has only been enhanced by the Jets' 3-1 win over Melbourne Victory on Saturday night as he looks to emulate the championship success the club had in 2007-08.
It had been over four years since the Jets beat Victory in Melbourne before Saturday and the result on that occasion was again 3-1, setting up Newcastle for a real shot at the title.
While van Egmond would just be happy with a spot in the six, he said he can feel the momentum rolling after a run of five wins in six games which has seen them move to fifth on the table.
"Not that I am a superstitious person but a couple of things have happened. Firstly, we won 1-0 last week and that was the same score as when we won the Grand Final exactly four years ago and we beat Melbourne 3-1 down here in the year that we won it," he said.
"There are a few things that are aligning themselves but the old cliche remains. We take it one week at a time. We've got Gold Coast next week on a short turnaround.
"They are an unpredictable team with all the things that are going on and we'll get ready for them."
Van Egmond said it was nearly impossible to compare the team that won the championship with the current group, but he feels he is actually a better coach than when he oversaw that memorable 1-0 win against Central Coast Mariners in February 2008.
"I feel a lot more capable than what I was from being able to spend time with a very good coach in Jan Versleijen at the AIS and utilising everything that they had," he said.
"It was good for me and it was a good environment for the kids, and you get more information and knowledge to decipher how you want your football team to be and I think I'm a better coach than what I was."
Van Egmond also praised the quality of football his team is playing, particularly in the first half when they produced three well-crafted goals, one from Ryan Griffiths and two from teenager Jacob Pepper.
"The window of opportunity for us once we had it, there were a couple of goals in there where they were magnificent goals to watch," he said.
"Where we switched the point of attack and we crossed the ball over and went back inside, it was wonderful football and to score off that was great."
The coach sees the key to his side getting chance to emulate the Jets of four years ago is a continual improvement and an ongoing commitment to teamwork.
"The players are working together very well. They are working hard for each other," he said.
"They are taking information on which is very pleasing from a coaching point of view and they are really playing with a lot of pride in the jersey."