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Jan 8, 2009

Jets assistant issues ACL challenge

Newcastle assistant coach Mark Jones has challenged the Jets players to show they are good enough to play in the upcoming Asian Champions League (ACL) campaign.

The Jets, who face Adelaide United on Friday at Hindmarsh Stadium, cannot qualify for the A-League finals and sit bottom of the table, but Jones said the challenge now is for the players to prove they have a future with the club.

"The Champions League draw has given us something to focus on and we have already started planning for it," Jones said.

"There are some players out of contract so they will be playing for their futures.

"We will be bringing some new faces in and the current players need to show they are good enough to be involved in the Champions League.

"We are as good as any team in this league but we have let ourselves down in some games with our discipline and urgency.

"We showed against Wellington at times last week what we can do and the 3-0 result was a little flattering to them but highlighted again some of the problems we have faced this season."

Jones said the Jets will go to Adelaide in good spirits despite their league position and the players are upbeat following a relatively kind draw which saw them avoid some of the heavyweights of Asian football.

"The draw could have been a lot worse and it gives us something to look forward to but we want to finish our last three games on a winning note and go into the Champions League full of confidence," he said.

The Jets have secured the signing of Nikolai Topor-Stanley from Perth Glory on a two-year contract and Jones said the club are running the rule over a Korean left-back who is on trial at the club after a spell at Incheon United - the new club of recently departed skipper Jade North.

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