A promising start to the season has Newcastle Jets fans dreaming of finals football for the first time in seven years.

The current wooden spoon holders have bounced back remarkably from last season’s woes and now sit third on the ladder with two wins and two draws.

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The inferiority complex that has haunted the club for years seems to be on the way out if not completely gone already.

It’s a change in culture that comes from the very top with owner Martin Lee clearing out what he perceived to be dead wood on the field and in the coaching ranks and installing a coach in Ernie Merrick who demands a winning mentality.

Last Sunday’s game against Western Sydney Wanderers was a microcosm of this cultural shift with the Jets conceding early to a Mark Bridge scorcher and looking flat for much of the first half.

It was an all too frequent sight for the home fans who wouldn’t be blamed for writing the game off during their half time conversations over unreasonably priced beer and lukewarm chips.

But this isn’t the Jets of yesteryear who fold all too easily when the pressure is on.

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Newcastle came out and dominated the second half scoring an equaliser and were unlucky not to grab a winner towards the end.

This could be put down in part to the fact Wanderers were coming off a mid-week FFA Cup match against Adelaide United, a fact coach Hayden Foxe was keen to make after the match.

“It’s not easy to keep up such a high tempo after a tough week,” he said.

“After a tough derby on Saturday, FFA Cup Semi-Final on Tuesday and then coming up here on a hot Sunday to play, I think it’s a great point.”

It was the response of the Jets’ coach however that reaffirmed the newfound belief that’s been injected in the club.

“There’s no excuses for such a poor start,” Merrick said.

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“I’m not going to play football where we hold out for a draw especially at home so the boys pressed to try and come away with a win.

“The draw is not good enough at this club and that’s what we’ve been trying to instill. It’s about winning, it’s about entertaining and you entertain when you win and score goals.”

An opposition coach leaving Newcastle happy to grab a point is a rare sight for Jets fans and even rarer is their own coach coming away disappointed to have not bounced back and won against top opposition.

The Novocastrian faithful may have to get used to it because without a doubt the times are a changin’ in Newcastle.

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Living and studying in Newcastle. Pretty obsessed with football. Newcastle Jets and Chelsea FC fan