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Boogaard loss gives Jets A-League headache

AAP logoAAP 10/11/2016 Ben McKay

Newcastle coach Mark Jones might spend the week leading up to the F3 Derby conducting try-outs for defenders after another key Jet was struck down in their latest A-League defeat.

Captain and defensive linchpin Nigel Boogaard left AAMI Park on crutches after suffering a nasty ankle injury in Thursday night's 2-1 loss to Melbourne City.

The defeat - Newcastle's third in a row - was tough enough.

But to lose another defender was the fly in Jones' beer.

Young defender Daniel Alessi won't play this season with a knee injury suffered in pre-season, Daniel Mullen (knee) is listed as up to eight weeks away and Lachlan Jackson (ankle) could be four weeks from returning.

Defensive midfield stalwart Ben Kantarovski (knee) is also listed as 3-4 weeks away on the injury chart, making Boogaard's loss stomach-churning for Jones.

"He's hurt his ankle. The extent I'm not sure but it doesn't look like he'll be playing next week," he said.

"It's challenging. We've lost three centre backs.

"We haven't played the same back four all year. Not because we didn't want to, we haven't be able to."

The Jets partnered 18-year-old holding midfielder Johnny Koutroumbis with Boogaard against City and Jones suggested 21-year-old right-back Nick Cowburn could get the gig against the Mariners.

"It will just be inexperienced defenders having to come in and do a job," he said.

"Cowburn can play as a centre back. It's not my preferred option but that's what we've got left.

"We have to do those things at the moment."

Jones rued an early miss from Danish forward Morten Nordstrand which was easier to score than miss.

The 33-year-old spooned Andrew Hoole's cross over the bar from two metres out when a completely open net beckoned.

"If he scored in the first three minutes it changes the confidence of our team and the whole dynamic of the game," he said.

"When we've not conceded in the first half of football, we've gone on and done well so it's disappointing to concede goals and not take our opportunities."

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