Victory aiming for home win

Melbourne must overcome bogey side Newcastle if it is to open its home campaign with three points against the Jets on Friday night.

Melbourne must overcome bogey side Newcastle if it is to open its home campaign with three points against the Jets on Friday night.

The Jets have had the wood on Ernie Merrick's side in recent times with two wins at Telstra Dome in the 2007/08 season.

The teams have met on 12 occasions with Melbourne winning just twice, the Jets five times and five draws between the two.

Newcastle has also handed Melbourne two of its heaviest three defeats in its history, including a 4-0 thrashing at EnergyAustralia Stadium in the triumphant season of 2006/07.

Brazilian recruit Ney Fabiano said a 1-0 win over the Jets in the Pre-Season Cup had players confident of arresting the poor recent record against them.

"This is the first time we have played Newcastle for the three points this season and it's going to be very difficult," Fabiano said.

"We have to be focused and concentrate for the whole 90 minutes the same way we have been doing."

"We have been playing our way with little tactical adjustments. At home we have to go for three points."

Goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos, who is battling an ankle injury, said he didn't have a reason for Newcastle's dominance.

"They are one of those sides that just match up well against us and have had some good results against us."

"But, in saying that, we are pretty confident."

Meanwhile, Merrick has a tough task finalising his squad for the first home clash.

Theoklitos, striker Archie Thompson and midfielder Nick Ward are all likely to push for selection.

The keeper, who hurt his ankle in a 'freak accident' at training, said he was impressed by the work of replacement shot stopper Mitchell Langerak in the 4-2 win over Wellington.

"Mitch came in and did a great job as usual. Every time he has had to come in he has done the job for us," Theoklitos said.

"He had no problems, he's got safe hands and does the job."

"We've got a few options coming back. It's good for the squad."

"There's two or three guys who can play every position and plenty of headaches for coach Ernie Merrick."

"When you are playing you have got to do the business because there's someone who can come in and do the job for us."