FORTUNE favours the brave.
Memories of the Newcastle Jets' frustrating start to the A-League season are fading fast after they racked up their second consecutive victory on Saturday, outlasting Western Sydney Wanderers 2-0 at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Winless in their first four games this season, the Jets have now climbed to equal sixth on the ladder, with a game in hand.
Saturday's victory suggests they are improving on all fronts.
It was the first time this season they have scored more than one goal in a game, and they have now maintained a clean sheet in two consecutive outings.
A win in Adelaide on Sunday would give them three on the spin for the first time in almost two years.
After a scoreless first half on Saturday, Jets coach Ernie Merrick said he remained "pretty confident we'd get over the line".
They had to endure some nervous moments before Merrick introduced Angus Thurgate off the bench, and for second successive game the Young Socceroos representative proved the match winner. Having scored the only goal against Western United, Thurgate drew first blood against Wanderers in the 78th minute and provided an assist for Dimi Petratos eight minutes later.
"I felt as though, as I've said many times, we've been playing good football, apart from the Sydney game," Merrick said.
"But today I thought we put two halves together pretty well ... we not only defended, we created more chances towards the end of the game.
"So it was a more complete performance."
Adding weight to the theory that their fortunes have turned, the Jets even benefited from a favourable VAR decision.
A challenge by Jets defender Lachlan Jackson on Kwame Yeboah in the 53rd minute left Wanderers appealing for a penalty.
Referee Kurt Ams ruled play on before the VAR intervened and ultimately upheld his decision.
It was a 50-50 call and Merrick said he would have copped it sweet had Ams pointed to the spot.
"To be frank, I think those calls could go either way and it would be accepted," Merrick said.
"There would be no one disagree if it was given a penalty, and I don't think anyone could complain if it was not given a penalty."
The Jets also enjoyed the rub of the green in their previous game, when Western United's Josh Risdon appeared to have equalised with a header, only for the VAR to correctly rule there had been offside play in the lead-up.
Having suffered a number of dubious VAR decisions in the past few seasons - including the infamous howler that cost them the only goal in the 2017-18 grand final loss to Melbourne Victory - the Jets might feel their change in luck is long overdue.
Disappointed as he was with the VAR call, Wanderers coach Markus Babbel conceded the home team deserved their victory.
"I thought we were quite outstanding in the first half ... we dominated the first half," Merrick said. "But to their credit, Wanderers came out in the second half and the first 15-20 minutes was all Wanderers. If Glen Moss and the defenders hadn't made some of those saves, it might have been a different game, because a goal to them changes the game."