Jets expect O'Donovan return to pay off

Anna Harrington
Roy O'Donovan could commence his second spell witb Newcastle in the derby against Central Coast

After a brief stint at Brisbane Roar, Roy O'Donovan could make an impact on his return to Newcastle as soon as Sunday's A-League derby against Central Coast.

O'Donovan re-joined the Jets in the closing hours of the January transfer window and caretaker coach Craig Deans was confident the striker, who scored 20 goals in 35 A-League appearances for Newcastle, would feature this week.

"I'd say so. He's had some game time up in Brisbane over the last couple of weeks with the second team and he's obviously been training away up there," Deans said.

"So he's gonna be fit enough to be involved in the game and we'll see him later in the week in training and see where he fits in."

The Jets will take a cautious approach with Irishman Wes Hoolahan, who is bidding to return from a long-term ankle injury, but will hope his compatriot O'Donovan - who has scored seven goals against the Mariners - can fire.

"Later in the week we'll make a call on Wes but Roy, (is) hopefully straight in and he's obviously got a good goal scoring record and he'll probably fancy playing the Mariners first-up as well, so that'll be a nice little introduction for him," Deans said.

Meanwhile, Deans said the players hadn't been affected by Newcastle's ongoing search for a new coach.

"As far as I'm aware, there's still conversations with coaches about coming in and it's not disruptive for myself, I don't think it's disruptive for the players, none of the players have come to me saying they're confused about the situation," he said.

"We don't talk about it to be honest. It's not my job or the players' job to worry about who's coming and where they're coming from.

"It's just our job to work every day and make ourselves better and make the team better."