WHAT's old is new again for Newcastle Jets utility Jason Hoffman.
After spending the majority of the past three seasons playing in the front third, Hoffman is set to be deployed in a more defensive role against Western United on Sunday.
The 222-game veteran replaced Matt Millar for the final 30 minutes in the scoreless stalemate with the Mariners after the wingback limped off with a hamstring injury.
Millar's injury is not as bad as first feared but he is almost certain to miss the visit by the Victorians to McDonald Jones Stadium.
Hoffman was used at left wingback in place of Connor O'Toole late in the 2-1 win over Sydney in the previous round and is the best equipped to fill the void left by the explosive Millar.
The 31-year-old has played the bulk of his A-League career at right fullback and is confident that he has the physical capacity to get up and down the touchline.
"I understand a number of different roles," Hoffman said. "Playing in the front third or playing in the back third; I'm open to change all the time.
"I have always prided myself on being fit. My running ability has always been a big asset and that's no different now.
"Matty has been an important part of everything we have done under Carl [Robinson] since he has come in. If I end up being the player who Carl chooses to cover for Matty, my energy will be exactly the same. Matty and I are very similar in our physical output.
"The whole point of playing with a back three is to give the wide players a licence to get forward that little bit more. I think wingback is a position perfect for me. It is definitely a position where I feel comfortable and feel I can do a job for the team.
"You complete your defensive duties and doing your part in attack is enjoyable. I said that when I was playing up front. The ability to make runs and have others chase you is always enjoyable."
Western United set up in the same formation, with a back-three and two wingbacks and Hoffman is likely to be opposite noted flyer Connor Pain.
"It might come down to a battle of the wide areas," Hoffman said. "The more I can push Connor back and the more I can be in the attacking third it makes it hard for him to cause damage."
Western United are in seventh place on 30 points, a point behind Adelaide and two clear of the Jets, who have played three more games.
"Regardless of the the table, we play to win every football match," Hoffman said. "We believe we have a good enough squad to do that.
"We proved it against the now premiers in Sydney. We won that game. We definitely dominated the Mariners game but didn't get the result we were after. Western United is no different."
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