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ALM GALLERY: Jets still a work in progress, says Stanton

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All the pieces of the puzzle seem to be there… it’s just aligning them to complete the full picture.

That’s the task facing coach Rob Stanton after the Newcastle Jets slumped to a 2-0 loss to Melbourne City at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday 3 December.

While supporters were disappointed with another “flat” effort and defeat, the second in a row, the mentor remains confident the side can bounce back.

It’s quickly forgotten star striker Apostolos Stamatelopoulos and experienced campaigner Jason Hoffman missed the clash, young gun Archie Goodwin is slowly finding his groove after injury issues, Reno Piscopo returned for the first time in 2023/24 and Justin Vidic made his A-League Men’s (ALM) debut.

Newcastle Jets defender Dane Ingham uses his head against Melbourne City. Photo: Michael Gorton Images

“I believe there are positive signs there and, hopefully, the results will start to show in time,” Stanton said.

“You’ve got to keep going back to what you want to do on the pitch and the things you work on every day.

“We need to drive that belief.

“It’s a young, young, young team.

“They’re not going to be spot on straight away, but I thought Justin did well.

“So, it gives you encouragement.

“However, it also takes a lot of hard work.

“I keep saying: ‘look at what the big picture is, what you’re trying to achieve’.

“Again, we have to expose [young] players… and I’m willing to do it.

“I’m putting my head on the chopping block but I’m okay with that.

“I realise everyone wants to win.

“However, if you don’t expose players and develop them, where are they going to come from?

“In the end, that’s what we’re going to do.”

Newcastle Jets’ Phillip Cancar looks for an opportuntiy at McDonald Jones Stadium. Photo: Michael Gorton Images

Stanton admitted Newcastle had performed more admirably in the past.

“Yes, I’m disappointed we didn’t win,” he said.

“Yes, we can be better and that’s what you do every day… we train, we prepare and we go around again.

“I’m sure this group of players will, at some stage, get on a roll.

“All the evidence suggests to me that we can.

“But, we need to accumulate experience and exposure to be able to gain that consistency.

“There was a vast difference between the two sides out there.

“They just picked us off with the numbers.

“It showed with two mistakes from us – we got punished for it.

“On another day, we might get away with it with other teams.

“However, against quality opposition like Melbourne, you won’t.

“So, there are lessons to be learned.

“You either drop your head or you get on with it.

“If you want to be a professional footballer or a coach, you have to follow the latter.

“And, that’s what I’m going to do.

“I’m not worried about that.

“I will continue to provide opportunities and continue to try and make a difference with those players.

“I think we can do good things.

“We’ve had a solid start… but, we’ve been on the road a bit, too.

“It’s time to stand up when the moment comes and we’ll learn from it and move forward.”

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