Newcastle Jets: Devante Clut pushing for A-League starting spot

Devante Clut playing against former club Brisbane. Picture: Getty ImagesYoungster Devante Clut is pushing imported Jets strikers Aleksandr Kokko and Morten Nordstrand for a starting position after a string of impressive cameos this season.

The 21-year-old replaced Kokko in the 63rd minute of last week’s 2-1 loss to Melbourne City and immediately helped the side maintain more possession in the attacking half of the field.

Plugging holes in an injury-hit back four has been coach Mark Jones’ priority this season, but he said he could also look to tweak his forward lineagainst the Central Coast on Sunday.

“I’ve been extremely happy with him, and he’s obviously pushing strongly for astarting spot,” Jones said of Clut on Monday.“It basically comes down to three people for two spots, and at this stage it’s very difficult.

“Devante’s always been in the back of my mind. He’s done very, very well every time he’s come on and he did very well when he started as well.He keeps the ball, he gives us a bit of an X-factor, he changes the point of attack. He’s been tidy and made chances for us.

“I’ve been very confident in his ability to keep the ball under pressure, and that gives us a bit of a swagger and a bit of apresence.”

Jones was hardly glowing in his praise of Finnish front man Kokko after his second start for the club last week.

“It’s a solid start. It wasn’t anything sensational but puts him in contention to be in our starting line-up,” Jones said on Monday.

Neither Kokko nor Nordstrand have scored this season, and Nordstrand missed a sitter against City. Clut scored a late tap-in after coming on as a substitute in the 4-0 rout of Brisbane in round two.

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