NO team wants to collect the dreaded wooden spoon.
It is a situation the Newcastle Jets face and one returning captain Nigel Boogaard is determined to avoid.
The Jets sit bottom of the A-League ladder on 13 points with just two wins - their last victory came almost three months ago.
Boogaard, after missing seven games with a fractured fibula, will be back to marshal the defence against Sydney FC at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday
And he is adamant the Jets can turn their fortunes around.
"Hopefully, touch wood, I can get through the week and then it is a question for the coaching staff as to who starts," Boogaard said
"I'm not a good spectator. I just want to get back out there with the boys and help turn things around.
"People might think this is crazy, but I don't think we are that far off.
"Saturday night is a good chance for us to turn things around and have a good run home. We have six games to go and something to prove.
"Personally, I don't think we deserve to be on the bottom.
"We are a better team than where we are positioned, but we need to show that."
Boogaard pointed to the performances - and results - earlier in the campaign as evidence that the Jets can match it with the best teams in the competition.
A gritty 2-1 win over Wellington in round five was the start of a five-game unbeaten run, highlighted by a 1-0 triumph over runaway league leaders Melbourne City.
"Earlier in the season we had that belief," Boogaard said. "We were getting results and once that waivers, especially with a younger group, it is a mental battle to try and shift that back into a positive way.
"We have spoken about it - senior players, coaching staff, everyone. It is a game of moments. It is whether you have the ability to take the chance to score or the ability to stop a goal-scoring opportunity from the opposition.
"Unfortunately, at the moment, we are not on the right side of both those things and we need to rectify it."
As well as Boogaard, Roy O'Donovan returns from suspension and there could be other changes from the side out-classed 3-1 by Melbourne City last round.
However, Ramy Najjarine (ankle) and Connor O'Toole (hip flexor) worked with the physiotherapist on Tuesday and remain in doubt.
There has been a noted lift in intensity with the arrival this week of new assistant coach Karl Dodd.
"It always happens when you get a new person come in," Boogaard said. "He is working under Deansy and it is the same message. It is clear and precise from both of them. Doddsy is a bit more vocal on the training park."
Boogaard, 34, is among 13 players off contract at the end of the season but said his focus was on getting the team out of the current rut.
"That is a conversation for me and the staff to have when the time is right," Boogaard said. "For me, being out for the time I have, I just want to play football ... all my energy is on making sure as a collective we can get ourselves out of this. We have a solid run home [against top teams] but it also gives us an opportunity to prove that we are a better side than where we are sitting."
"If you start to take scalps off those bigger teams, it gives the boys confidence not only for this year, but moving forward."
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