OPTION: Nick Cowburn
JETS coach Scott Miller expressed his disappointment on Friday that theDavid Carney contract wrangle had stolen the spotlight from last weekend’s drought-breaking win against Wellington.
The interest in Carney from a Qatari club and Sydney FC has monopolised headlines this week, leaving Miller of the opinion that his players did not receive enough kudos for the 3-1 win against Phoenix, which ended a club-record streak of six games without a goal.
“All week it’s been overshadowed,’’ Miller said on Friday.
CENTRE OF ATTENTION: Newcastle’s David Carney on the ball at training this week. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
“I think the playing group didn’t get the respect or credit they deserved. I’m very proud of the group … more should be written about the positive result of the team and the win they had, as opposed to one player.’’
Asked how he felt about Carney’s situation, Miller indicated the former Socceroo was unlikely to be released during the January transfer window.
“David’s a player of interest and always has been, and last time I checked his contract it was until the end of the season,’’ Miller said.
“So that’s the level of commitment I’m wanting from David.’’
Four points adrift of the top six before this weekend’s games, the Jets want to carry the momentum from last Sunday’s victory into tomorrow’s clash with Perth Glory at Hunter Stadium.
“Our mentality is now to compound the pressure on the teams in the top six and really push them until the end of the season,’’ Miller said.
“If results go our way this week –and we’re in control of it, to a degree –we’re only one point of the [top six].
“And that’s a nice place to be, considering the last 10 weeks and the lack of points we did pick up.
“So on reflection, it’s an opportunity for the players.
“It’s a point where we need to grab it or we walk away from it …it’s almost a second chance.’’
With Ben Kantarovski suspended, Miller was assessing Nick Cowburn and Cameron Watson as his midfield alternatives.
“I’m pretty clear in terms of what person I want to play there and what my demands are,’’ he said.
“It’s up to them if they can execute it or not.’’
Miller was unsure whether Brazilian import Leonardo, who has played one minute in the past five games, would feature, either in the starting team or off the bench.
“Leonardo can play any system,’’ he said.
“He’s got that awareness.
“Front three, or playing off the shoulder of a big striker, that’s the challenge we’ve got.’’