Aloisi backs Brisbane to beat Jets in heat
Photo Source: AAP
Coach John Aloisi reckons Brisbane's comfort in the heat could be Newcastle's undoing as the Roar attempt to turn around their poor A-League record on the road.
The mercury is expected to climb to 28 degrees at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle on Sunday, a spring temperature the Jets will not have acclimatised to quite as well as their interstate opponents.
"We're happy about that," Aloisi said.
"It hasn't been that hot there but it's been warm here so we're prepared for that weather.
"It's an advantage for us, because we're a fit team.
"You saw last week, even with 10 men, how we ran out that game and scored in virtually the last kick."
A 10-man Roar pulled off an at-the-death 1-1 opening-round draw with Melbourne Victory thanks to defender Luke DeVere's equaliser.
They did so at their Suncorp Stadium fortress, where they achieved a league-best home record of 35 points from 14 matches last season.
The challenge now is emulating that on the road, after a poor 13 points from as many away games that may have cost them the 2015-16 Premiers Plate.
"We analysed all of last season and we know we have to pick up more points away from home," Aloisi said.
Aloisi knows Mark Jones' unfancied Jets will be no pushovers after their own plucky 1-1 stalemate with defending champions Adelaide last weekend.
However their chances of backing up have not been helped by long-term injuries to key defender Daniel Mullen (knee) and first-choice goalkeeper Ben Kennedy (Achilles).
Jason Hoffman (calf) and Finnish striker Aleksandr Kokko (Achilles) are also sidelined.
At the very least, Danish star Morten Nordstrand returns to bolster Newcastle's already-revived attack featuring Andrew Hoole, Andrew Nabbout and English playmaker Wayne Brown.
Roar's attacking prowess continues to flourish via Jamie Maclaren's combination with marquee man Brett Holman.
But Aloisi declined to say whether Tommy Oar would start on the wing following his sharp display off the bench against Victory.
He has confirmed Jacob Pepper will fill the midfield shoes of suspended captain Matt McKay.
STATS THAT MATTER:
* Newcastle are winless in six attempts against Brisbane
* The Jets have failed to keep a clean sheet in 16 of their last 17 games
* Jamie Maclaren scored in two of his three appearances against Newcastle last season