NEWCASTLE Jets coach Rob Stanton has never lost faith in his young charges.
Others - outside the club - have. Back to back losses, did little to silence the doubters.
After pushing Melbourne City in a 2-0 loss, the Jets produced their best to stun leaders Wellington Phoenix 3-0 at Sky Stadium on Saturday.
It was the Phoenix's first loss of the campaign. They had conceded just four goals in the previous six games.
"We have been call bland, we have been told we will come last," Stanton said. "It's my job to prove people wrong.
"Our belief hasn't changed. We are only a young team. Young teams, at times, lack consistency. I thought we were quite good last week but we made two mistakes and got punished. This week we did the same things but did them a bit better. We learnt a few lessons and grew, which is good.
"It is nice to get a win. It relieves pressure and you gather more belief. Your identity grows.
"We are not getting too excited. I was really proud of them. It's done now and we will move on."
The win propelled the Jets to eight points and eighth spot, and within a win of the top six.
They host 11th-placed Glory on Saturday, travel to Adelaide on December 22 before completing the calendar year at home against last-placed Western United on December 30.
"We will go through our process," Stanton said. "Go back, restart again, look at things we did well and things we can improve on."
Against Wellington, Apostolos Stamatelopoulos scored a brace and impressive rookie Clayton Taylor netted his second goal for the campaign.
The timing of the goals could not have been better.
Stamatelopoulos opened the visitors account in the fourth minute. Taylor struck just before half-time in the 43rd. Stamatelopoulos then converted from the penalty spot in the 47th minute after Taylor was sandwiched.
All three goals were scored or set up on the break.
"The way Wellington play, you need to be on the front foot," Stanton said. "The way they defend, if you are too slow with your progression, they get enough bodies behind the ball. We went hard and fast. I knew we could unlock them that way."
Defensively, the Jets were well-drilled, desperate and cut out the mistakes.
When Wellington did find space, keeper Ryan Scott was up to the task.
"We do a lot of work in specific areas where we think games are won and lost," Stanton said. "It is about respecting your opponent and limiting their dangerous players. Limiting players who can hurt you, limiting time and space. The constraints of the game. If you don't control them, the game will come back and bite you because of good players.
"Wellington have very good players. We made sure we minimised those moments and areas of the game.
"Once you score, and you get a bit more belief, the team grows."