Newcastle Jets on full flight towards the finals

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The Newcastle Jets have the top six in their sights after a 1-0 victory against the Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Sunday.

Winning the F3 Derby by only a slender margin, visiting coach Scott Miller was surprised his team couldn’t get another couple past the Mariners.

“You’ve got to give them credit, they fought right to the end… We should’ve seen the game out, scored a few more goals I would’ve thought.”

New recruit Steven Ugarkovic scored the only point of the match and the second ever of his professional career, but it was his defensive flair that really impressed the coach.

“The work rate of Mateo (Poljak) and Steven Ugarkovic and the new dynamic of that partnership is really pleasing to see.”

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Miller and the Jets clearly have their work cut out for out for them against Perth next week and the head coach is taking no warriors.

“I didn’t come here to come last.”

Ouch, Tony. That one was aimed at you.

“I came here to win the league. That’s gotta be the case with every head coach in the A-League, it has to be, because that’s your inspiration and your management with your players. They need to feel empowered and that leadership depicts that.”

It’s a vastly different story to what’s going on at the Central Coast Mariners, and Tony Walmsley is a realist when it comes to his squad.

“It was a very good effort from a young team.”

“We’ve got what we’ve got. There’ll be a tipping point when the mistakes stop…you can’t put a time frame on it. I’m fortunate that I have the vision to see what’s ahead.”

With absolutely no chance of making the finals, and only the slimmest of opportunity to relinquish the wooden spoon, Tony looks to be shifting the motivation from what the team can achieve this season to a focus on individual preparation for 2016.

“We’re going to be a different proposition come next season…We’re working really hard on a lot of day-to-day tactical decision making.”

Star import Luis Garcia could probably educate on that score, but caused worry when he went down around the five minute mark. There was talk of a corked thigh but a later assessment suspects a stretched hammy, a grave fear for every veteran player.

“We’re not sure of the extent of that at the moment.”

“We tried to keep him on as long as possible. Even at half-pace he was unlocking the door. I could see the intelligence and the intuition in the passing was likely to result in a chance for us.”

It’s a long way to the top, and Walmsley’s patience has to be credited. For those in the here and now, Newcastle could be the underdogs to watch.

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Jade Toomey
A 20 year old Media and Law student trying to tame those stream-of-consciousness writing habits with an ickle bit of fun at the Central Coast Mariners.