EXCLUSIVE: Newcastle Jets boss Gary van Egmond bluntly admits that marquee striker Edmundo Zura is not up to scratch on the fitness front and a punishing few days beckons for the Ecuadorian.
To see Newcastle Jets' latest training session...
Three games into the new season Zura has yet to get off the mark and already there are mutterings in some quarters about whether he will succeed in Australia.
Van Egmond is admant the striker’s ability is not in question but he says there is work to do in making sure he is able to perform effectively over the whole 90 minutes.
The boss admits a fixture-free weekend could not have come at a better time in terms of helping Zura fine-tune his fitness levels.
Van Egmond told au.fourfourtwo.com
: “I think he is getting better but he is not as fit as I’d like him to be.
“That’s why having no (A-League) games this weekend is a Godsend in some ways. It allows us to use that time to work hard with him (the extra fitness sessions started yesterday for Zura at Jets training).
“Ability-wise, there is no problem but it’s about getting new players to understand and be familiar with the way we’re trying to play.”
Van Egmond is also expected to use the break to try and make progress on the contract front with his players.
Joel and Adam Griffiths, Kaz Patafta and Ante Covic are among those out of contract at the end of this season.
Van Egmond said: “Hopefully we can get into a situation where the club makes its position clear and the players can make their desires clear.”To see Newcastle Jets' latest training session...