NEW coach, same old story for the Newcastle Jets.
Four days after the unexpected decision to sack veteran tactician Ernie Merrick, Newcastle's woes continued with a 2-1 loss to defending champions Sydney FC at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday night.
It was their fifth loss in the space of six games and leaves them languishing last on the A-League ladder.
The Jets did at least produce some semblance of spirit and fight under caretaker coach Craig Deans.
After conceding an early goal to prolific Sydney import Adam Le Fondre, they hit back to equalise with a quality strike from Steven Ugarkovic.
Then, trailing early in the second half, they came agonisingly close to restoring parity when Panamanian striker Abdiel Arroyo blasted a shot into the crossbar from close range.
But they say good teams make their own luck, and Sydney, who are runaway competition leaders after 11 wins and a draw from their first 13 games, are undoubtedly a good team. Not even their most parochial supporters would argue the Jets warrant a similar rating.
Once again, the opposition's goals appeared embarrassingly soft.
The Jets have now conceded 27 goals this season, which is easily the most by any team. In the past six games alone, they have been breached 19 times.
Jets officials were hopeful that a change in coaches might spark a belated charge towards the finals. But if results go against them this weekend, they could fall eight points behind the top six, with 14 games to play.
Adding to Newcastle's angst, veteran goalkeeper Glen Moss suffered a calf injury in the 65th minute and was carried from the field.