NEWCASTLE Jets coach Peter McGuinness will likely throw youngster Libby Copus-Brown into his starting side as he searches for goals in the must-win W-League match against Adelaide at Jack McLaughlan Oval on Saturday.
The Jets need to win their remaining two games, against Adelaide and away to Sydney next week, to have any chance of breaking into the top four and playing finals for the first time since 2008.
Coming off a 4-0 away defeat to Melbourne Victory, the Jets were dealt another blow this week with the loss of teenager Grace Macintyre to a serious knee injury.
Macintyre, a regular attacking option off the bench for Newcastle this year, went down with just two minutes remaining against Victory.
Scans revealed damage to the anterior cruciate ligament which will require a full knee reconstruction.
With Macintyre out, McGuinness has brought fellow 17-year-old Hunter product Copus-Brown into the squad to inject more pace into his attack.
McGuinness was considering giving Copus-Brown, who missed the Melbourne trip due to having a perforated eardrum, a start up front in a wide position.
‘‘It’s a tactical change to go with a bit more speed when we’re in possession,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve got to go after the game and give them nothing as well. This could give us a bit more speed going forward and breaking forward as well.’’
Newcastle sit in fifth position on 13 points and trail third-placed Sydney and fourth-placed Canberra by four points. Perth (27) and Victory (20) have secured finals places. Sydney travel to Brisbane to play on Saturday while Sydney host Perth on Sunday.
‘‘All we can do is make sure we win, then we can sit down and watch the games and hope at least one of them draws or loses,’’ McGuinness said.
Newcastle defeated Adelaide 4-0 in round four but the Reds have since moved to one spot and three points behind the Jets. The match at Edgeworth will be their last of the season.
The loss of Macintyre is the second season-ending knee injury the Jets have suffered this campaign.
North Queenslander Ashley Spina ruptured her ACL playing as a defender against Adelaide.
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