FLYING HIGH: Andrew Nabbout and Andrew Hoole have helped spark the Jets mid-season revival. Picture: Getty Images
THEYare the men who have turbo-charged the Newcastle Jets.
High-octanewinger Andrew Nabbout motored atank-emptying10.87 kilometres in the pulsating 2-all draw with Wellington Phoenix.
His output was marginally ahead of the 10.72 kilometresAndrew Hoole powered through on the right wing.
Hoole’smeterage included a season-high 1.14km at high speed (greater than 20kmh).
Both players scored a goal and reached a maximum velocity of 33kmh, a tick under the 37kmh Usain Bolt averages over 100 metres.
The figures against Wellington, recorded on the club’s Global Positioning System technology, are typical of their weekly contribution.
“They are our best athletes,” Jets coach Mark Jones said. “Hoole is probably slightly ahead in terms of ability to keep running. Nabbout is very sharp and direct.”
The most ground Nabbout has covered in a game is 10.95km. Hoole has rangedfrom 10.03km to 10.92km.
Against Wellington, they caused havoc down the flanks and were still able to reach top gear in the closing stages.
“The [Wellington]game was end-to-end, very open. A lot of running up and down the pitch,” Hoole said. “I have always been pretty fit. In the pre-season I had some good scores in the testing. It is a stage now where we need to be very fit to keep up with the other teams.”
Nabbout, restricted early in the season bygroin and ankle issues, has played all bar two minutes of the past three games.
“The more I play 90 minutes the fitter I am going to get,” Nabbout said.“I was glad to get through it and still getting into dangerousareas later in the game.”
Hoole burst into the box and drilled a cut-back from Morten Nordstandinto the left corner to level at 1-all.Then, with the Jets down 2-1,Nabbout turned Phoenix captain Andrew Durante inside out before curling a shot inside the right post.
“It was one of my better goals,” Nabbout said.“We work on it on the training pitch and it was good that it worked for me.”
Jones said the danger the wingers pose in behind has made them more flexible in attack.
“We are playing out from the back much better than we ever have,” he said. “Stevie and Mateo have helped with that and obviously the centre backs. We have played out through the back and kept possession which has enabled us to do well. That can’t happen unless you have fullbacks who want to be positive and wingers who get high and wide and are dangerous.If both Andrews get high and wide and you don’t cover them, then you are asking for trouble.We have started to earn the respect of teams who are being more cautious.”
As well as provide strike power, the wingers have shared their load in defence.
“There is a lot of back behind the scenes running that we do,” Nabbout said.“Not many people notice;getting back and tucking in, that is our job.”
Jones said both players had worked hard on their defence.
“Hooley’s discipline has improved immensely,” he said. “He has been able to get back and not dive in and not makesilly fouls. Early on he was giving away sillyfouls. He has been working hard, making repeat efforts and not losing his cool.”
Meanwhile, the Jets are close to finalising a release for little-used midfielder Mitch Cooper.His departure will open two places ahead of the January transfer window.