JETS coach Ernie Merrick has such faith in his squad – who are winless after four games – that he has no plans to bolster their ranks during the January transfer window.
Newcastle deliberately left a vacant position at the start of the season in case they needed to rush in a mid-season reinforcement.
But that now appears unlikely, after Merrick said on Thursday: “Knowing that we’ve got Roy [O’Donovan] to come back in, and Johnny [Koutroumbis] and Joey Champness, I don’t think we’ll be signing anyone in the January window.
“I’m pretty happy with what we’ve got and the way we’re playing.”
After two wins, two draws and three goals from their first four outings, the Jets are ninth on the ladder.
It ia a far cry from their dynamic start to last season, which ultimately culminated in a grand final appearance, but Merrick insists it is too early to panic.
“I’m very good to putting it to the back of my mind, and I’m trying to make the players understand not to worry about winning or losing, and the pressure that comes around because of that,” he said.
“I say leave that pressure to me. I’m the one that’ll get the sack if we don’t get the results.
“It’s really about them focusing on what their role is and job description during a match and playing to their best.
“If we play how we train, that’s exactly what we want.
“The team that won it last year [Melbourne Victory], won two games out of their first 10. So the way the finals are, if you get into the top six, you’ve really got a very good chance of winning it.
“We need to win, though. I haven’t taken the pressure off them.
“It’s all about winning football matches, and the way you do that is finish off the build-up play. The build-up play has been good, the recovery of the ball has been good, we just need to finish off.
“It’s very important to win, but not to worry in the long term about that.”
Merrick is confident Newcastle will celebrate their first victory of this campaign when they take on Western Sydney Wanderers at Spotless Stadium on Friday.
“Believe it or not, I think we’re playing better football than what we played last year,” he said.
“So if we keep playing the way we can play, I think we’ll have a very good year, and another entertaining year for our crowd.”
The Wanderers, who have one win and two draws, have been nomads this season and Friday's game represents their first fixture on home turf. Their other three games have been in Perth, Wellington and Mudgee.
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