Western United targeted a fast start against struggling Jets, reveals Wales

Lachlan Wales revealed that Western United knew the struggling Newcastle Jets would be there for the taking if they could start quickly in the Hunter.

As it conspired, Wales grabbed his second goal in two games within 36 seconds of the kick-off at McDonald Jones Stadium and that proved to be enough for the Green and Black to take all three points back to Victoria following a 1-0 triumph.

Wales opened his Western United account in the 2-1 win against his former employers, Melbourne City, only five days earlier, having gone 10 games without scoring in this campaign for his new club.

And the 23-year-old heaped praise on wing-back Dylan Pierias for providing the service for his first-minute strike while admitting the plan was to try and catch Craig Dean’s side cold.

"We knew that the Jets had been on a bit of a lean run so we knew if we started fast, and we did the things we needed to do and the start of the game, we knew it would be an easier job for us," said Wales.

"But they fought hard and made it difficult for us at times. But we sealed the game with a bit of magic, a great ball by Dylan [Pierias] and I was just lucky enough to put it away."

MONDAY REPORT: Wales punishes misfiring Jets as Western United close on top six
SUNDAY REPORT: Ten-man Victory no match for Sky Blues in 3-0 defeat

The Jets slipped to a sixth straight A-League defeat, their worst stretch in club history, but the home side outplayed Western United for long periods as Mark Rudan’s team relied on the poor finishing of Newcastle’s misfiring attack in order to maintain their lead.

The Green and Black now sit within striking distance of the competition’s top six but Wales acknowledges that if his team are going to compete with the A-League’s best, their performances need to be much improved.

"We started the game well, probably that first 15 minutes, and then we dropped off a bit after that so it was a bit disappointing there," Wales said.

United were coming off a 2-1 win over Melbourne City where inspirational captain Alessandro Diamanti came on as a substitute to change the game, and the Italian once again came off the bench to help close out the points against the Jets.

He added: "We need to play like we did in the first 15 minutes. 

"Against Melbourne City we did it for 20 minutes in the second half and you can see how dangerous we are.

"It’s easier said that done to produce that for 80, 90 minutes and kill games off.

"It’s probably dictating the game for longer and we need [Diamanti] out there for probably 90 minutes helping us out. 

"He’s a class above and he can hold the ball for us and get the players in."

CHANCE: Pain - Diamanti's vision almost sets up the winger

Next fixtures – Matchweek 16

Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory
Saturday, 10 April 2021
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
Kick-off: 3.05pm AEST
Match Centre

Wellington Phoenix v Western United
Sunday, 11 April 2021
Venue: WIN Stadium
Kick-off: 7.05pm AEST
Match Centre

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