Boogaard won’t sweat on new Jets deal
JETS captain Nigel Boogaard is happy to put contract talks off until the end of the season, despite playing a significant role in the club's renaissance under Ernie Merrick.
Newcastle's defence has conceded just 22 goals in 18 games so far this season, a far cry from the leaky ship of recent campaigns, with Boogaard and Nikolai Topor Stanley at the heart of the back four.
Off contract at the end of the season, Boogaard - a Newcastle product - signalled he would "love" to sign a new deal - but the negotiations for that are not a priority for now.
A-LEAGUE ALL ANGLES: Round 18 reviewed
"It's not important for me at the moment," Boogaard said. "It's about making sure we do well and that'll look after itself at the end of the season.
"I love the place, I'd love to stick around and I'd love to be part of this team for years to come. We'll see how that eventuates, but now I'm concentrating on keeping my level of performance up there each week."
Instead the focus is on solidifying their position in second place, beyond anyone's expectations, with the players for now still targeting a top-four berth as they have all season.
"Our aim at the start of the season was to make the top four and the result (drawing 2-2 at Melbourne City) will help establish us there," Boogaard said.
"Now it's a big game for us at the weekend at home to Melbourne Victory, if we can pick up three points there that will put a gap in there (between second and third) and go a long way to maintaining that top four position.
"We've got some quality players to come back on board and strengthen the squad in the next few weeks. It gives us genuine competition for spots and once everyone's fit and ready, I wouldn't want to be in Ernie's position and pick the starting XI."