Newcastle Jets succumbed to their second loss in as many weeks and were held scoreless for the first time this season by Melbourne City on Sunday evening.

The poor form of the Jets will be concerning to fans who have been anxious to see how the side fares without Andrew Nabbout and the injured Nigel Boogaard.

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The signs are ominous for Newcastle with eight goals conceded in two games and only two scored with an overall lack of intensity clear for all to see across the park.

In theory the Jets have nothing to play for with second spot now secure but this recent run of form so close to the finals could have a drastic impact on how they fair when it gets down to the knockout games.

All three of City’s goals on Sunday came from set pieces which suggests a lack of organisation at the back and had coach Ernie Merrick seething after the game.

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“What killed us was the set plays. Three set pieces were the difference,” Merrick said.

“We work a lot on those but we were really slack. That’s where you miss a couple of key players like Boogaard and Jason Hoffman.”

When asked if an early return in time for the finals was possible for Boogaard, Merrick’s answer didn’t provide much hope.

“It’s very unlikely but if everything comes down to one player then that doesn’t say much for the rest of the team,” he said.

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As for the other end of the field the Jets look a completely different side without the energy of Nabbout whose work off the ball was vital in tiring opposition defenders and allowing the more skillful players time on the ball to create.

Merrick has a race against time to get his attackers in shape and showing more chemistry than they currently are however he is optimistic they’ll start firing again soon.

“We weren’t as fluent up front, but I think with the experience that Roy O’Donovan has had now, with Ronny Vargas playing more and Riley not finding his position right initially tonight but then getting better, I think we’ll learn from that game,” he said.

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The Jets have two regular season games against Perth Glory and Central Coast Mariners to shore up the gaps left by Nabbout and Boogaard and begin to re-find their ominous before finals football is upon them.

Featured image credit: Sproule Sports Focus

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