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Tactics & Analysis

Heskey fitting in well say Jets

Newcastle midfielder Ruben Zadkovich says star recruit Emile Heskey has fit in so well he already feels like part of the furniture ahead of his A-League debut against Adelaide on Sunday.

The 34-year-old former England and Liverpool striker arrived little more than a week ago but has already made a huge impression on his new Jets teammates and coach Gary van Egmond, who has named him in his squad for their season opener at Hunter Stadium.

"He's a top bloke," Zadkovich said.

"He's only been here a week and it feels like he's been here a year.

"He's just a good lad and a quality player and we're really lucky to have him."

Heskey has been reunited at the club with former England under 18s teammate Michael Bridges.

And while they may have their similarities Zadkovich says they also have their differences.

"Bridgey brings a lot of bad dress sense and Emile brings a lot of quality football," he joked.

"No Bridgey's a good player and they both bring something different.

"They're actually very different personalities. Bridgey is very out there and Emile is very quiet and shy and he just flies under the radar."

A fit and firing Jets outfit will be looking to take advantage of a likely battle weary Adelaide side who return from ending their Asian Champions League campaign with a 3-2 extra-time loss to Uzbek club Bunyodkor in Tashkent.

They will also be without Iain Fyfe and Fabian Barbiero, who must serve one-match bans after they were sent off during heated the quarter-final defeat on Wednesday.

But Zadkovich feels the match-practice may even give the Reds an edge.

"They've been playing competitive games and that's probably a little bit of an advantage for them and we've obviously just had a pretty long strenuous pre-season," he said.

"So it depends how you look at it, but for us we know they're a good side and it's going to be a tough game so we're pretty pumped."

After a long pre season Zadkovich admits his side can't wait to finally get their season started but while the Jets are ready to unleash their typically aggressive style he says "controlled aggression" is the key.

As for who will win.

"Oh we'll win," he joked.

"Who knows, it's tough to predict but I know we're ready, we've been working hard.

"They're a good side so it's going to be a really tough game, but hopefully we can get a result."


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