Newcastle Jets’ performances have plummeted through the floor since confirming their second place finish leading coach Ernie Merrick to give them the lambasting they perhaps deserve.

The Jets succumbed 2-0 to eighth place Perth Glory on Friday night, making it just two goals scored and 10 conceded in their past three games and a brutal Merrick didn’t hold back post match.

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“I’m not putting that side out again. We’ve got two games left and the way we’re playing that’ll be it finished,” he said.

“We won’t be playing the grand final if we play like that and the sooner the boys get that message the better.

“We’re not improving, if anything we’re getting worse.”

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It’s impossible to place a finger on one specific thing that’s gone wrong in Newcastle but they are undoubtedly missing big name players at the same time players returning to the first team haven’t gelled leading the overall performance of the team to drop.

One distinctly notable element lacking in the game against Glory was any width in attack because of the nature of their ball-playing attacking midfielders.

This stark lack of width is made obvious when looking over the average positions of the Jets’ four attackers in light blue centered in almost exactly the same spot as one another.

Graphic sourced from a-league.com.a

The underwhelming return of Ronny Vargas has also hindered the Jets’ performances with the Venezuelan looking well off the blistering pace he set at the beginning of the season.

Blame however should be laid all over the pitch with a number of key players underperforming in recent weeks.

“I would say there is self doubt from some of the players and they’re not playing anywhere near their best football,” Merrick said.

“It’s easy to pick on the younger players who come in but it’s the senior players that let us down a bit more.”

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Time is severely running out for Merrick to put things right and inspire his side to rediscover the form and performances that set the league alight and saw them rocket up the table for most of the campaign.

If they serve up the same level of performance that they have in the last three weeks, Merrick makes it pretty clear how he sees the rest of their season going.

“If we play like that in a finals match it’s going to be embarrassing.”

 

Featured image courtesy of Sproule Sports Focus

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