A-League finals-chasing Newcastle are wary of a last-placed Central Coast Mariners side already enjoying positive vibes since the appointment of caretaker coach Alen Stajcic.
If the seventh-placed Jets win Saturday's clash in Newcastle they will move to within a point of slumping Melbourne City, who have a tough game away to Sydney on Sunday.
The match will be the first for Stajcic, after the recently sacked Matildas coach was on Tuesday announced as the Mariners mentor for the last six rounds of the season.
Former head coach Mike Mulvey was sacked just a few hours after an 8-2 home loss to Wellington last Saturday.
'A lot has changed this week, we've got the new gaffer in and things are looking very positive," Mariners defender Jack Clisby said on Friday.
"He (Stajcic) has come in and instilled in a short amount of time he's been here what he wants and we'll try and apply that.
'We're very happy to have him here and I think he can really help us move forward.
"The intensity in training this week has been great, so that's a good sign,
'It's a new way of playing and it's a new philosophy so we're just going to do as best as we can to adapt to that and as quick as we can."
Jets' striker and former Mariner Roy O'Donovan expected the coaching change would spark a reaction and a more determined defensive effort after last week's humiliating loss.
'A new manager, will want them in a derby to come out hard, play for pride, not to let what happened last week against the Phoenix ever happen again," O'Donovan said.
"They will be defensive, they will be organised they will be running very hard to stop every blade of grass being opened up on match day.
"It will be difficult for us but we have to use our experience and our qualities to go above that."
O' Donovan has scored five goals in four games against his old club, some of whose fans usually give him a hostile reception, something he regards as a positive.
"If you weren't that good they wouldn't say anything about you, so I hope to get more stick tomorrow, but I also hope that we play well as a team and we get the result that we want and we need."
STATS THAT MATTER
* Newcastle have won their past five games against Central Coast, outscoring them 18-4 in that period
* The Mariners haven't won at McDonald Jones Stadium since December 2012, losing six and drawing two since then.
* The Jets have kept successive clean sheets and are unbeaten in their last five games, while the Mariners haven't won in eight matches and have yet to hold an opposing team goalless this season.
Stats supplied by Opta.