Newcastle Jets boss Scott Miller says there are a lot of positives to take from his squad’s six day excursion to Melbourne, and the team will be setting finals football as their minimum ambition for the season.
The Jets returned to Newcastle having only conceded one goal in their two competitive matchups during their trip to the Victorian capital after a 1-1 draw in a behind closed doors match with Melbourne City and 1-0 defeat of Victorian NPL side Bentleigh Greens.
“The principle (of the trip) was obviously to win and get that winning mentality,” Miller said.
“We had two games and the challenge for us was to put in performances in both games and we saw that.
“To concede one goal over the two games really underpins what we’re about this year -- being hard to beat.”
While gaining a winning mentality was the ultimate aim of the trip, the Jets boss maintains that the team’s build up to their Hyundai A-League 2015/16 campaign is also well on track.
“It was a great week overall for the group and the continuation of our preparations for the season,” he explained.
“It’s hard for me to measure (pre-season) because I’ve never had a 12 to 13 week pre-season.
“But you can see the confidence developing and the group.
They’re really empowered in the sense that they’re showing leadership qualities and really driving the sessions and the content we’re trying to provide them.”
Miller says that it’s important for the team to get a few more trial matches under their belt in order for the team to continue to build confidence and for him to see his players in match situations.
“It was great for me to see the players in context,” Miller said. “I used 17 players against Bentleigh Greens so I could see different personnel in different positions.
“Everything is still up for grabs and the starting team will pick itself in a sense depending on the player’s commitment, passion and the energy they show.
“It comes down to performance and potential but ultimately at this point every position is up for grabs.”
The Jets boss says that regardless of the starting line-up the team has set their sights on competing in the finals series this year.
“If you’re playing in the A-League and that’s (making the finals) not your ambition, you don’t deserve to play in the A-League,” Miller said.