Regan looking for permanent place

Taylor Regan says he is eager to nail down a permanent spot in the Jets’ starting XI with a strong performance on Friday night.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets defender Taylor Regan says he is eager to nail down a permanent spot in the Jets- starting XI with a strong performance against Melbourne Heart on Friday night.

A combination of loss of form and injuries to other Jets players has paved the way the way for Regan to be recalled to the heart of Newcastle-s defence for Friday-s encounter.

Regan has played sporadically for the Jets over the course of the season, making just five appearances, but the 24-year-old said he is determined not to relinquish his spot this time around.

“I don-t want to lose my spot again, but I realise if I don-t perform, it-s inevitable that I will,” Regan said.

“I have to stand-up and be counted and show what I-ve got.”

Regan said that while he had been disappointed not to be selected to play in recent weeks, he understood the reasons behind head coach Gary van Egmond-s decision.

“I haven-t played the last two games because tactically Gary wanted a left and right-foot centre back combination as he stated,” Regan said.

“This week, with Connor out injured and a few players a little bit out of form, I get my opportunity.

“11 players don-t win a championship and 11 players don-t win or lose a game. It-s about the full squad.

“My job in recent weeks was to put pressure on Connor Chapman and Josh Mitchell.

“You have to bide your time and when you get the opportunities, you have to be ready to take them, so fingers crossed I am.”

Regan will partner Dominik Ritter in the centre of defence and while it is the first time the pair have combined in those roles at A-League level, Regan said he feels comfortable playing alongside the former Swiss under 21-s international.

“Myself and Dominik played in the youth team last week and we kept a clean sheet and we did our job,” Regan said.

“This week we step in and get an opportunity to hopefully keep a clean sheet in front of our home supporters.

“We felt very comfortable, albeit in the youth team, but I think that tomorrow night we-ll stand up and show we can make this position our own.”

The current make-up of the A-League ladder means there will be plenty at stake for both the Jets and Heart on Friday night, but Regan said he would not be daunted by the occasion.

“I like pressure. I think pressure and nerves make you perform a little bit better and at home, in a must-win game, there-s no bigger arena,” he said.

“We-ve just got to believe in ourselves. Obviously we have a bit of a new formation happening and I think it-s a good balance.

“Emile-s got that presence, that big strong look about him and he holds the ball up.

“Obviously Bridgey-s got that touch of class and a little bit of silk that maybe we-ve been missing in recent weeks.”

Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Heart Friday, February 15 Hunter Stadium Kick-off 7.30pm (Gates open 6.30pm) Tickets from PROticket.