THE Newcastle Jets are in need of a spark and fast after they slumped to a fourth straight loss, going down 2-1 to Brisbane Roar at McDonald Jones Stadium on Wednesday night.
Again the Jets dominated the majority of the statistics but the most important one - the scoreboard.
The Roar manufactured just four attempts on goal, but two of those strikes - a deflected effort by Riku Danzaki in the sixth minute and an angled shot by Dylan Wenzel-Halls in the 61st - were enough to seal three points.
Jets striker Valentinio Yuel made it goals in back-to-back games with a crisp header to level in the 38th minute, but it was an otherwise frustrating night for the hosts.
The Jets fashioned chance after chance but could not break a resolute Roar defence.
They delivered 55 balls into the area, had 21 shots to four and won the corner count 15-1.
Four straight defeats is the worst start to a season in Jets' history. Adding salt to the wound is that three of the losses have been on home soil. In the 2014-15 campaign they had one draw and three losses after four rounds.
"If you look at the crosses and corners and shots ... everything bar the scoreboard indicates you should get at least a draw from the game," deflated interim Jets coach Craig Deans said.
"It's disappointing but we have a game in four day's time and we have to recover well, pick ourselves up and go again. Just keep working hard and staying positive. There is not much else we can do at the moment.
"I'm not proud to be sitting at this table with a record of no wins in four games. I'm sure the players will feel exactly the same. Again, if I was sitting here with no idea on how to play a game on Sunday and how to prepare the team and get them ready, then I would put my hand up and walk away.
"I think we have shown enough in the first four games for people, who know how football works, to see that the understanding is there from the players and the commitment is there from the players and the want to win is there... It's times like this when you need people to support you."
Deans kept faith in the starting XI from a similar unlucky 2-1 loss against Macarthur at Turton Road on Sunday.
The home side were tardy out of the blocks against the A-League new boys, which cost them two goals and, in the end, the game.
It was a far more authoritative start by the Jets against a Roar outfit playing their first match since upsetting Melbourne Victory away on January 2.
Roy O'Donovan went into the referee's book inside two minutes for a challenge on Tom Aldred.
And again they were forced to play catch-up.
In just the sixth minute, Japanese import Riku Danzaki pulled the trigger from 25 metres and his shot deflected off the leg of Nikolai Topor-Stanley, lobbed over the head of keeper jack Duncan and into the net.
Ramy Najjarine has been at the centre of most good things for the Jets and he nearly engineered an equaliser in the 23rd minute.
The Olyroo turned on a dime before fizzing a low pass across the goalmouth.
O'Donovan flicked at the ball but couldn't get a touch.
The Irishman got plenty on a shot a minute later but debutant keeper Macklin Freke parried it away.
The Jets were on top and the equaliser came in the 38th minute.
Najjarine whipped in a corner from the right for Yuel to power a header into the back of the net.
The lively No.11 had a corner tipped over the bar and then had a shot deflect just wide as the Jets finished the half strongly.
In the first half, the Jets had 58 per cent of the ball, delivered 24 balls into the box, led the shot count 10-2 and had nine corners to one.
The Jets continued to terrorise Freke with corners. Boogaard lobbed a header onto the crossbar three minutes into the second half fter the Roar failed to clear a set piece.
Then, against the run of play, Brisbane struck.
Scott McDonald threaded a ball in behind and no-one followed Wenzel-Halls, who slid a low shot into the left corner.
Johnny Koutroumbis and Connor O'Toole both stung the gloves of Freke as the Jets frustration grew.
With a last throw of the dice Deans injected Petratos brothers, Kosta and Makis, with 13 minutes remaining.
The elder, Kosta, helped win a corner - the Jets 15th - with his first touch and then had a header go just wide.
In a much-needed boost to a Jets squad light on X-factors, high-velocity wingback Matt Millar departed London on Tuesday bound for Perth.
On arrival, he will spend two weeks in hotel quarantine before rejoining the Jets.
The 25-year-old made 10 appearances for Shrewsbury Town during his loan stint and was integral to their climb up the League One ladder.
IN THE NEWS: