THE Newcastle Jets have drawn confidence from their scoreless stalemate in a friendly against Western Sydney Wanderers at Pluim Park, Lisarow, on Wednesday.
In their lone trial match before resuming the A-League season on Tuesday against Sydney FC at Kogarah, the Jets gave 22 players similar time over three 45-minute thirds.
While both teams were unable to find the net, Newcastle assistant coach Darren Bazeley said it was an encouraging hit-out, given that it was their first game in four months, since the competition was shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"The score doesn't really tell you the whole story," Bazeley said.
"We played pretty well, created a lot of chances, did a lot of good things, moved in the right direction and now we just need to get a little bit better with our final ball and final product.
"Then the goals will start coming."
Bazeley said Newcastle "dominated the game" and all players improved their match fitness after spending about 70 minutes each on the pitch.
Head coach Carl Robinson will now peruse the video before settling on a squad to take on Sydney, the two-time defending champions.
After Sydney, the Jets play Central Coast, Western United and Wellington and will probably need to win all four games to scrape into the finals.
They are three points behind Western United and Adelaide, who are equal sixth and have games in hand on Newcastle.
AAP reports: Under a revised A-League schedule announced on Wednesday, the grand final has been pushed back by a week.
The finals will now kick off on Saturday, August 22, and the grand final will be played on August 30.
Despite an outbreak of COVID-19 in Sydney's western suburbs, the league has pushed ahead with its plans to play out the season in NSW.
The remaining 27 regular-season fixtures will be played over 34 days, starting with Friday's match between Sydney FC and Wellington Phoenix. All matches will be in Sydney, Gosford or Newcastle apart from Sunday's match between Brisbane and Adelaide on the Gold Coast.
The three Melbourne clubs face a back-ended finish to their seasons given they can't start playing until they've completed a quarantine period.