A-League: Newcastle Jets forced to make four changes for round 23 encounter against Wellington Phoenix

By , 18/01/2019 12:48

OUT: Wayne Brown. Picture: Max Mason-HubersNewcastle Jets coachErnie Merrick has even more selection headaches this weekend with Mario Shabowcalled-upfor the clash against Wellingtonfollowing the late withdrawal of Wayne Brown.

Shabow travelled to Auckland on Thursday for the ill Brown and the midfield switch means at least four changes will be made to the first XI that beat A-League leaders Sydney FC at home less than a fortnight ago.

It marks the most disruption to the Jets starting side since the first round of this season, which included six new faces from the team that began the club’s last match of 2016-2017.

The highest number of changes previously this campaign has been three on two occasions –between rounds 13 and 14 as well as 18 and 19.

But all fourtrades for round 23 againstthe Phoenix on Saturday have been forced, rather than any tactical tinkering from Merrick.

Brown, who trainedon Wednesday, joins striker Roy O’Donovan (suspended) andinjured skipper Nigel Boogaard (left leg) on the sidelines while Andrew Nabbout left last week for Japanese clubUrawa Red Diamond.

Joey Champness and Lachlan Jackson are the likely replacements for O’Donovanup front and Boogaard at the back respectively while returning PatoRodriguez may slot on the wing for Nabbout. Ben Kantarovski could interchange for midfielder Brown.

“We’ve just got to give positive information and defend as a team,” Jets key man Dimi Petratos said.

Making up the bench would beShabow, Nick Cowburn, Angus Thurgate, goalkeeper Glen Moss and marquee Ron Vargas, comingback after almost five months out injured.Nikolai Topor-Stanley is captain.

JETS: 1 Jack Duncan, 3 Jason Hoffman, 5 Ben Kantarovski, 6 Steven Ugarkovic, 7 Dimitri Petratos, 8 Ronald Vargas, 11 Patricio Rodriguez, 12 Mario Shabow, 16 Nick Cowburn, 17 Daniel Georgievski, 20 Glen Moss, 22 Lachlan Jackson, 24 Joseph Champness, 27 Riley McGree, 32 Angus Thurgate, 44 Nikolai Topor-Stanley(c).

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