Jets’ Jair wants flood of A-League goals

Newcastle’s Jair (L) hopes for a flood of goals after breaking his A-League duck against Brisbane.Jair hopes the rain won’t be the only thing that pours this weekend in Newcastle.
成都桑拿

The Jets’ import has ended a frustrating 18 months after breaking his A-League goal drought in last week’s 2-0 win over Brisbane.

His first goal since scoring in April, 2017 in the K-League, the Brazilian celebrated emotionally with home fans at McDonald Jones Stadium.

“It’s the first one and I have to celebrate a lot because, today, I’m here three months,” Jair said.

“That’s why I put too hot my emotion because it wasn’t easy for me. So I prepare myself and also it’s a big challenge to change the weight. But I’m happy.”

The 30-year-old struggled to adapt to his new home, as well as attempting to shed weight over the pre-season.

He only signed in September with the Jets.

“I work so hard to lose my fat; I lost eight kilos between this time,” he said.

“I got this gift (of a goal) and, hopefully, I’m keeping this weight, now with more confidence and hopefully score more.

“It’s not easy. It’s a new country, also.

“The language – sometimes is difficult to understand what the players will do. But (after) today, I think things will happen more naturally.”

A confident Jair will be a huge boost for the Jets who have struggled to match last season’s fairytale campaign that had ended in a title shot.

Failing to win a game over the opening month, they have triumphed in two of their past three and sit sixth on the table.

On Sunday, they take on undefeated ladder leaders Perth, who are off to the best start to a season in the club’s history under new coach Tony Popovic.

The contest appears set to be soggy, with storms predicted to bash the eastern seaboard over the weekend.

Popovic identified the Jets’ attack – which also includes Dimi Petratos and Ronald Vargas – as their most-dangerous asset.

“They’ve got four very dangerous players in attack,” he said.

“They showed that last year, and they’ve shown glimpses of it this year without getting the result. There were certainly longer periods of that against Brisbane.

“We have to be aware of it. We don’t have to fear it, certainly not.”

STATS THAT MATTER:

* Newcastle have won just two of their past 20 matches against Perth. Their last win at home came more than seven years ago

* Newcastle are one of just two teams – including Brisbane – who are yet to score in the opening 15 minutes of a game this season

* Perth defender Ivan Franjic has made nine successful crosses from open play this campaign – three more than any other player.

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