Newcastle Jets winger Andrew Nabbout is 100 per cent fit and ready to help improve his side’s form in front of goal as they prepare to visit bogey side Perth Glory.
The Jets haven’t won in 14 matches against Perth, with Glory having triumphed on 12 occasions in that period, including in the past eight games.
Nabbout, who only joined Newcastle this season, insisted on Wednesday that Mark Jones’ side aren’t worried about history.
The 23-year-old is ready to play his first game in three weeks when Newcastle visit nib Stadium on Saturday night after missing the past two matches with ruptured ankle ligaments.
Nabbout confirmed he is completely fit despite having taken half the time to recover as expected.
“I was touch-and-go to play against Sydney [last week],” he told reporters.
“I was trying to get the physio to push me back in but, you know, he’s smart about these sorts of things and the coaching staff were really smart about it.
“So they said it’s better to come back at 100 per cent rather than 60, 70 and risk doing it again. It was hard but it’s the right time now.”
Nabbout could be joined by experienced central defensive pair Daniel Mullen and captain Nigel Boogaard in returning to Jones’ squad this week.
The Jets may be finally turning the corner after a terrible run of injuries that has particularly hurt Newcastle down back.
“Daniel Mullen looks like he’s going to be back and I’m not sure about the skipper but we’ll see how the week progresses and we’ll see how they both pull up.
“But there are definitely some key boys putting their hands up for a gig this week,” Nabbout said.
Newcastle haven’t won in seven games, scoring an average of just 0.57 goals per match in that period.
Nabbout’s return is likely to help, however, as the former Melbourne Victory winger leads the Jets for assists (3) and through-balls (2), while he is second at the club for shots (8) and chances created (8) this term.
“It’s that final decision that we have to keep working on and, you know, we’ve been working on it at training and they’re going to fall for us [eventually],” he said.
“So we just have to make sure we keep ourselves in those areas.”