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Fit-again Kokko set for Newcastle start

AAP logoAAP 8/11/2016 Vince Rugari

Newcastle Jets recruit Aleksandr Kokko is set for his first start since the A-League's opening round in Thursday's clash with Melbourne City.

The Finnish striker has been restricted to substitute appearances over the past two weeks after succumbing to injury just 37 minutes into their season opener against Adelaide five weeks ago.

However, coach Mark Jones said Kokko and winger Andrew Nabbout, who has also recovered after his own recent injury setback, are both in the frame to start against City at AAMI Park.

The Jets are coming off a disappointing 2-0 defeat on Saturday to Wellington Phoenix, but Jones said they'd welcome the short turnaround.

"It's good that we actually get to make up for the Wellington game sooner rather than later," he said.

"The emphasis is to go there, press with a little bit more urgency and take our opportunities.

"We've got into good field position as well. We haven't taken advantage of that, so we need to be more aggressive in the final third, deliver passes quicker and make better runs off the ball.

"I guess the word's urgency both in defence and attack."

Newcastle have won only once so far this season but that was a 4-0 demolition of Brisbane Roar, who accounted for City 1-0 last week at Suncorp Stadium.

That's all the encouragement Jones needs.

"Obviously it was a bit of a down weekend for them against Brisbane but that gives us hope as well," he said.

"We obviously did extremely well against Brisbane, and they did extremely well against Melbourne City.

"Anyone on any given day can beat anyone and if we go in with a positive frame of mind, I think we'll give ourselves a good chance."

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