Despite the loss, Ernie Merrick and the Newcastle Jets walked out of AAMI Park with their heads held high after a positive performance against Melbourne City.

But the club now faces an arduous run of games which sees them play four of their next five games away from home, leaving coach Ernie Merrick and his team frustrated.

The Jets return to Melbourne next week before travelling to Sydney, making it three consecutive away matches.

While the Jets have a home game against the Central Coast Mariners midway through January this is followed by trips to Perth and Western Sydney.

Full back Daniel Georgevski was proud of his team’s performance away to Melbourne City but admits there is confusion and frustration over the league’s fixturing.

The Jets will play three consecutive home games in February to compensate for the significant travel but according to Georgevski the club continues to be hard done by both on and off the field.

“It’s not going to be swept under the rug anymore because we are always on the end of it,” Georgevski said.

“Something needs to happen, you can only cop and do so much,

“The team has been okay thus far but whoever’s made that schedule needs to re-look it,

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“You have to take into account a lot of these players have never had to play in summer or in this heat if they’re coming from overseas,

“It takes a toll and football cops it because the quality isn’t as good.”

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This view is shared by Newcastle head coach Ernie Merrick who despite praising his team’s performance, believes the fixture’s inconsistency is an issue which needs to be addressed.

“How we can’t play home-and-away every week I’ll never understand,” Merrick said.

“I say the same thing every year and I’ve only been saying it for 11 years,

“It should be as simple as you play at home one week and away the next,

“If the stadiums aren’t available let’s do what Sydney has done with Jubilee Oval,

“There are plenty of grounds in Newcastle so let’s not be held to ransom.”

The Newcastle Jets may not have came away with the three points and be sitting outside the top six without a win in three matches, however Ernie Merrick is confident his side will play finals.

Newcastle’s early lead against Melbourne City was cut short following Ronald Vargas’s send off in the 25th minute.

The Venezuelan was booked for a challenge in the seventh minute before receiving his second for dissent after handling the ball inside the penalty area, allowing City to take advantage and the lead.

Despite being a man down the Jets had eight more shots than Melbourne City, two of which hit the post and dominated the second half, giving Merrick all the more confidence, his side will play finals despite sitting in seventh.

“We’ll definitely be in the finals with the depth we have,” Merrick said.

“The team is getting stronger and we’re getting all of our players back,

“We didn’t get any points to show for it tonight but the team spirit we showed was more important,

“It was a tremendous display tonight from the players.”

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RMIT Journalism | Football Nation Radio Like all football fans my general mood for the week is dictated by how my team performs over the weekend.