Jets coach Ash Wilson wanted ruthlessness and that is exactly what she got as Newcastle routed Western Sydney 4-1 at No.2 Sportsground on Saturday for their first win of the season.
The statistics told the story of a tenacious and dominant Newcastle performance. The hosts won more of the 50-50 battles in the middle of the park, had twice as many intercepts as their round-five counterparts and fired off 18 shots compared to four.
It propelled the Jets, who collected the wooden spoon last campaign, to four points and fifth place on goal difference and within three points of the top four. It also issued a statement to the rest of the competition that they were eyeing finals this year.
"If other teams were watching that then hopefully they do look at it and see us as a bit of a threat," Wilson said post-match on Saturday.
"In previous years that maybe hasn't been the case, or the perception of where we are and what we're about has not been one of those higher performing teams.
"But we know what our level is. We have our standards and we know where we think we should be and the last couple of weeks we can see that coming through."
The victory came after 2-1 losses to Wanderers and Sydney and a 1-1 draw with Brisbane. Newcastle travel to Cromer Park next Sunday to again face the unbeaten Sky Blues, who are top of the table with nine points.
"I don't actually think that that was one of our better performances in terms of what we know we can do, but to be able to come away with the result was still obviously a very important aspect of that," Wilson said.
"Just grinding out the win and dominating large patches and weathering the storm when they came back and then obviously still managing to score those goals.
"Teams may look at it and start to think a little bit differently about us. That was the goal. We want to change people's perception about us. We want to change our own perception and expectations of what we are and what we stand for, and this is the start."
The Jets led 3-1 at the break. Jets midfielder Rhianna Pollicina released Lauren Allan beyond Wanderers' backline in the eighth minute and the lightning-quick attacker took a touch before scoring past goalkeeper Courtney Newbon with the outside of her foot.
Georgia Yeoman-Dale produced a long-range equaliser three minutes later but Allan made it 2-1 with a back-post header in the 33rd minute after Gema Simon's free kick from the right sideline was nodded on by Tara Andrews.
Andrews found her fourth goal in as many matches when she finished from close range in the 44thminute after Newbon fumbled the ball in the second phase after a corner.
Simon completed the rout in the 53rd after Hannah Brewer showed great vision to send the ball long from halfway and put the Jets left-back into space to score. Simon was given free passage through the Wanderers defence and touched the ball around an advancing Newbon before finishing into an open goal for her ninth goal in 131 W-League appearances.