Now that it’s mathematically impossible for the Newcastle Jets to make the top six, coach Ernie Merrick is reflecting on what went wrong for the Novocastrians.

After an amazing run that landed Newcastle a grand final in the 2017/18 season, this campaign can only be described as a disappointment for the Jets.

“We’re very disappointed. We should’ve been in the finals and we’re all very disappointed about that,” Merrick said.

Newcastle’s loss to Perth Glory on the weekend made it impossible for the Jets to make the six, and simultaneously confirmed Perth’s maiden minor premiership in the A-League.

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Despite an underwhelming campaign, Merrick remains hopeful and optimistic about next season.

“We’re building for next year. We’ve signed most of the players, and it’s all about preparing players for next year now.”

The most obvious shortcoming this season for the Jets was their finishing. They registered a ridiculous amount of shots, but failed to capitalise on these chances all season. This combined with a constantly shifting squad in attack due to injury meant the Jets could never find their rhythm going forward.

When asked about recruitment, Merrick mentioned his preference is to bring in new attackers.

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“It might be either a striker, a winger, or an attacking midfielder or two.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of change required, just little adjustments here and there.”

Opposition teams were wise to Newcastle’s game plan this season. Teams took the Jets seriously, and were more likely to drop more numbers behind the ball in defence.

“We haven’t adjusted well to teams getting behind the ball quickly. A lot of teams get seven players very quickly behind the ball.

“So we’ve either got to attack more quickly, or get around that type of defence. Not resort to long high crosses from wide areas, or long shots from 23 meters.”

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The Jets will most likely finish in seventh place this season, which is a significant drop from the heights of last season. Despite that, there were positive signs and Merrick certainly has something to build on for next season.

“We have to learn from the mistakes we made this year, and get it right next year.

“It’s all my responsibility, and nobody else’s at the club.”

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Intern at The Football Sack covering The Newcastle Jets A-League and W-League home matches!