Back-to-back wins and a return home are motivation enough for the Newcastle Jets this weekend, but adding more fuel to the fire for Ben Kantarovski will be getting one over his former teammate.
Saturday at McDonald Jones Stadium marks the first time Kantarovski and the Jets will line up against Daniel Georgievski in the A-League since he departed for Western Sydney Wanderers at the end of last season.
And the round eight clash in Newcastle comes with 42-time Jet Georgievski already somewhat distracted off the field, having been cited and issued a show cause notice by the FFA this week for a social media post following the Wanderers most recent loss.
"It's probably even more reason to want to win," Kantarovski said after training at Ray Watt Oval on Thursday.
"You get that little extra. You're always up for a game, but when you play your mates it's almost like you really want to have one up on them."
Jets 2017-18 grand finalist Georgievski and Wanderers coach Markus Babbel, who has also been cited by FFA for comments in his post-match press conference last week, both have until Monday to provide submissions.
Fourth-placed Western Sydney are winless in their last three outings after opening this campaign by collecting all nine available points, but Kantarovski feels the Jets pose just as much danger heading into the encounter following a breakthrough victory last start.
"I think so, but then again we're coming off a great win and we've got a few good performances on the board so I think we're just as dangerous," he said.
Five points separate the sides on the competition ladder with the Wanderers (10) doubling the Jets (five), who sit in a three-way share of eighth position courtesy of a 1-0 triumph over Western United in Geelong on November 16.
Now coming off their second bye in seven weeks, Newcastle can climb into the top six or slip to the bottom of the overall standings depending on their result against visiting Western Sydney.
"You want to win every game, so to be able to string multiple wins is effectively what everyone is trying to achieve," Kantarovski said.
"We want to go into this Saturday and make sure we get the three points."
The Jets host three of their next five games to round out the calendar year.
Hamstring and groin issues have restricted midfielder Kantarovski to four bench cameos so far in 2019-20 and he "hopes" to start again this weekend after featuring in the first XI and playing 90 minutes a fortnight ago.
"Regardless if it's myself or other players, you come in and do a job," he said.
Newcastle welcome back Bobby Burns, Abdiel Arroyo and Matt Ridenton into the squad from international duty.
Alex Meier (influenza) remains in doubt for Wanderers while Matt Jurman (groin) is available.