Youth the future for the Newcastle Jets

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Scott Miller was taken aback with the 1-1 draw in the F3 Derby against Central Coast Mariners at Hunter Stadium on Saturday night.

“I’m appalled. It’s not us; it’s not what we believe in,” said Miller.

“Mediocre is not good enough and we won’t deal with it, and I certainly won’t deal with it.

“I’ll go home very disappointed because opportunities are arising and we haven’t taken them, two weeks in a row now.”

Miller’s squad let in an equaliser in stoppage time to lose the lead despite having an extra man after Mariners defender Jake McGing was sent off in the 25th minute.

Last week the Jets’ did the same to Western Sydney Wanderers, letting in two late goals to ultimately lose at home.

The Jets had an impressive start to the season, with big wins over Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City. However they are slowing facing the realities that come with injuries that have thinned an already slim squad.

Jets’ forward Labinot Haliti, midfielder Benjamin Kantarovski and defender Daniel Mullen are all sidelined, leaving the squad to depend on their youth players to add depth.

Youngsters Lachlan Jackson, Radovan Pavicevic and Nick Cowburn all made appearances on Saturday night and while they played well, the lack of confidence that comes with experience could be the difference between winning and losing.

Newcastle’s mantra this season has been a sense of belief and while these talented youngsters deserve a chance to prove themselves, there’s progress to be made to develop them into top tier players.

“Youth is never an excuse, poor managers use youth and lack of depth as an excuse but we wont do that here,” Miller said.

“It’s our reality and what a great opportunity to develop a player.

“I quite enjoy the fact that we have the young players, to an extent.

“Having said that it’s their responsibility, they’ve been given the contract, they need to perform.”

Despite not getting the result Miller is pleased with the club’s progress so far this season.

“10 from 18 is a superb effort from everyone involved in the club and far outweighs expectations.

“We’ll have to overachieve and pull together and draw upon our belief as a club and the support from the fans and bring another young player into the club and develop him.”

With a match up against Adelaide United in Round Seven, Miller is confident the squad will be back on track. But with only one win out of four at home, he desperately wants a win at home for the fans.

“We need to win at home, it would be nice to win at home.”

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