IT wasn't the winning start that Craig Deans had desired but the newly appointed head coach was satisfied with a point after the Newcastle Jets fought hard in a scoreless stalemate against the Brisbane Roar at a blustery Dolphin Stadium on Sunday night.
Jets striker Valentino Yuel hit the post late in the first half and the visitors gave as good as they got for most of a torrid contest.
Jack Duncan was the busier of the keepers, especially in the second half when the home side made use of the strong breeze from set pieces.
None of Duncan's saves were better than the reflex effort at the death after Scott McDonald glanced a header towards the right corner.
Roar import Riku Danzaki found the back of the net twice but both were correctly waved away.
For the visitors, twin towers Nigel Boogaard and Nikolai Topor-Stanley were immense at the back, while Steve Ugarkovic and Angus Thurgate were tireless in the centre of the park.
The share of the spoils moved the Jets to eight points and stretched their unbeaten run to four games.
Deans was appointed full-time coach on Wednesday and will welcome back a host of players before the clash against Melbourne Victory next Sunday.
"Sometimes you have to take what you can get," Deans said. "We wanted to play better football than we did tonight. Our passing and our positional play in the first half was poor.
"It is a tough place to come and play and Brisbane are a good team in a good position on the ladder.
"The weather had an impact, but it was pleasing to get another clean sheet and go four games without defeat. It's a nice little patch.
"I thought the way we defended against the wind in the second half was exceptional."
The Jets were without Jason Hoffman (groin), while Deans decided it was too big a risk to play Ramy Najjarine (ankle).
Matt Millar was also ruled out after he attended a funeral in COVID hotspot Melbourne mid week and had to go back into isolation.
Kosta Petratos was promoted to the starting eleven for just the fourth time as Deans switched to a 4-3-3 formation.
Playing with a strong wind at their back, the Jets pushed up the park and put pressure on the Roar playing out.
In a cagey opening, Petratos had a call for a penalty turned down in the 13th minute but neither team was able to generate clear chances.
The Jets survived a scare in the 37th minute when McDonald hooked a pass into the box for Danzaki to head home, but the ball had crossed the byline before the former Socceroo made contact.
Duncan got enough on a fizzing angled effort from Dylan Wenzel-Halls to force it wide.
Yuel thought he had given the Jets' the lead when he unleashed a curling shot from outside the area which beat Jamie Young but not the right post.
"We didn't get enough shots away in the first half," Deans said. "Val hit the post and Steve had one from distance and that was probably it. We want to play good football but if you have a wind like that, you have to make the most of it."
Deans made a change at half-time, bringing on Lucas Mauragis at right wingback for Petratos and switched to a back three.
The Roar thought they'd broken the deadlock in the 59th minute when Danazki slid a shot past Duncan but the Japanese import was correctly flagged for offside.
Despite a howling wind into their face, the visitors pushed and probed, searching for an opening.
"We struggled a bit today to create chances," Deans said. "Stevie and Gus work their socks off every week. For Luka, Roy and Val it was a tough day but we came away with a point and a clean sheet so we can't be unhappy."
"We wanted to play better football than we did tonight. Our passing was poor in the first half. We changed things tactically at half time and I think the back three was better. It meant more time on the ball for Johnny and Nikolai.