Gary van Egmond believes Saturday’s 0-0 draw with the Central Coast Mariners was another positive step for the Jets.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond believes Saturday-s 0-0 draw with the Central Coast Mariners was another positive step for the Jets as they look to cement a spot in the top six.
The Jets kept their third consecutive clean sheet against the competition leaders, while also creating enough opportunities in attack to potentially win the match.
“If you play the team that-s coming first on their home turf and you come away without conceding and you get something out of the game, it-s a positive,” van Egmond said.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game. It's a derby, and (the Mariners) are always a team that prides itself on working hard and ensuring they are very thrifty in regards to what they give away.
"With a little bit of luck I thought we probably could have got a couple of goals early in that second half.
"We-ll take a point, but we-re buoyed not only by that but by the confidence of the performance as well."
After conceding a goal in each of their first 14 matches, the Jets have now gone 333 minutes without their opponents scoring.
Van Egmond said the key to his side-s turnaround was a more structured and disciplined defensive line.
"We like to play a game where we press further up the pitch, but not all the time is that something we can do at this stage," van Egmond said.
"We put some structures in place of which the players are following to a tee.”
The Jets made three changes to the team that had defeated Brisbane Roar 1-0 the previous week with Scott Neville, Josh Mitchell and Emile Heskey all returning to the line-up for the F3 Derby.
Van Egmond said it was a testament to the squad-s depth that the Jets are able to carry out their game-plan regardless of which 11 players take the field.
"Even when we have different personnel, it is great to see that those players can come in and carry it out,” he said.
“It gives you better depth, it gives you better understanding from all the players when they get their opportunity to play.
“It-s good competition. We-ve got a lot of boys who are putting their hands up to play now.
“It gives you more depth and it increases the level of intensity at training which is good.”