Rudan's United ready for Jets surprises

Ed Jackson
New Jets recruit Wes Hoolahan (front) seen when playing with Norwich City in the Premier League

Western United's Mark Rudan is ready for whatever surprises Newcastle Jets can throw his team's way on Saturday.

The Jets, who last tasted victory 61 days ago, came so close to ending that run last weekend when interim coach Craig Deans switched formations for the trip to take on in-form Wellington Phoenix.

Only some superb saves by Phoenix goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic denied the Jets at least a point from their trip to Wellington.

The switch to a back three didn't go unnoticed by Rudan as his team heads to McDonald Jones Stadium seeking to avenge their round six loss to the Jets and keep hold of their top six position.

"We know what we're in store for," Rudan told AAP.

"They changed their formation last week, so we'll prepare the team for two different formations if they do go out with a back four or back three."

Another potential change for the Jets is the potential A-League debut of veteran Irishman Wes Hoolahan.

The 37-year-old former English Premier League player has been named in the Jets squad after recovering from a long-term ankle injury, though it's unclear if he could start or play a role off the bench.

"There's been talks about him returning this week," Rudan said.

"We've touched on it ever so slightly but there hasn't been a huge emphasis placed on one player."

Jets defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley said Hoolahan's presence was a boost for all at the club.

"Wes is obviously a quality player whose been there and done that and if he plays a part, great for us," Topor-Stanley said.

"He's clearly got the quality to help this team win games."

Rudan has stuck with the squad which fell in a thrilling 4-3 loss to Adelaide United last weekend.

As well as Hoolahan, the Jets have included Olyroo Connor O'Toole following his move from Brisbane Roar in midweek while Lachlan Jackson's knee injury sustained against the Phoenix has sidelined the young defender for the rest of the season.

KEY MATCH STATS

* Newcastle's eight-match run without a win is their longest since a 10-game winless stretch in 2017.

* A-League record goalscorer Besart Berisha has only managed six goals from 21 matches against Newcastle.

* Western United's have hit the woodwork with eight shots this season, equal only to Central Coast.