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Jan 29, 2007

Newcastle Jets will get jittery: Brosque

Sydney FC forward Alex Brosque has taunted Newcastle by suggesting the Jets could be brought undone by nerves in front of their own fans in Friday's minor semi-final return leg.

Brosque, the Jets' nemesis in recent times, says the reigning A-League champions were ready to capitalise on any jitters in the Jets' camp at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

Sydney FC enter the clash with a one-goal edge courtesy of last Friday's 2-1 victory at Aussie Stadium and with coach Terry Butcher "very, very confident" of progressing to the preliminary final.

The Sydneysiders have built an imposing record against the Jets, having lost only once in seven encounters, and Brosque feels his side has little to worry about battling their NSW rivals.

"Every year you sort of get one side that you enjoy playing against more than others," he said of the Jets.

"Newcastle has shown they are a good squad, they hammered Melbourne and beat other teams convincingly as well so I guess it is a good thing we have had the upper hand over them throughout the year.

"It doesn't get much bigger than this match and I think they will get more nervous then we will.

"That is why we are enjoying going up there for we know there is no pressure on us, they are already losing on the score sheet and they have the 20-something thousand people trying to get them over the line.

"So it could work in their favour, but more often then not it works against them. The team starts to make mistakes and they feel the pressure and we are hoping to capitalise."

The mood in the Sydney FC camp at a training session next to Parramatta Stadium could not have been more buoyant despite the club's lengthy injury list.

Brosque, 23, has been in sizzling form lately with four goals in six matches and two in two outings against the Jets.

He felt it was important for his side to bag a quick goal against the Jets and quickly kill off the contest on Friday.

"We are going out there to get that first goal, that first goal is so important if they get it they are in the lead and they can pretty much knock us out by sitting back," he said.

"But if we get the first goal then they have to come out and score three to beat us so ... then the pressure will definitely be on them and they will start making some mistakes."

Butcher said his side already had form on the board this month heading into hostile territory only needing a draw.

"It is very similar to the Queensland scenario we had two weeks ago where Queensland Roar had to do the same against us and we played pretty well up there (in Brisbane) and defended pretty well and got the right result," he said of the 1-1 draw which secured Sydney its place in the finals.

"So the lads have been down that path before so that is a great advantage for us."

Midfielder Ufuk Talay is due to return from suspension for the match with the chances of defender Alvin Ceccoli making his return improving.

"Alvin Ceccoli trained today with the team, he is still feeling his foot but at least he is on the pitch and able to run around for the first time in two weeks. We might have a full complement on the bench, we might not," said Butcher.