Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond says his side is playing without confidence following their 2-0 loss to Central Coast on Saturday.
After their best start to an A-League season ever, the Jets have only managed a come-from-behind 3-3 draw with the Melbourne Heart from their past month of football and were completely outplayed by the league-leading Mariners.
“The confidence of the players is down but there are some real positives from the game as well which we will see on the video and we have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and we will get some troops back for our trip to Perth,” van Egmond said.
“You have to stick together and keep working hard on the training field, you have to ensure you stick together because you can start to fracture.
“Confidence is naturally down but you have to look to the positives. Of course you have to be accountable for how the game went but at the same time you have to instil some more confidence into this team.”
The Jets have only had an unchanged squad for two games out of 10 this season and van Egmond admitted a lack of continuity was troubling the team.
“I think it is more so getting the consistency of the team in playing more than one game together,” he said.
“We have had issues with suspensions and injuries that has rocked us a little bit but we have good depth this year and players are really fighting for their spots each week at training and looking to see how they can get into the squad each week.”
However, the Jets coach also admitted his side was outplayed by the Mariners on Saturday night and feels the Central Coast team is the current yardstick of the competition.
“Even though we beat them in the first round I thought they were the best team we had played,” van Egmond said.
“When the game was in the balance obviously the Mariners were the team that controlled the game and we looked to manufacture some chances on the counter but we were still well and truly in the game, but there were lapses.
“The goal from the corner was terrible – you could drive a truck through that area through the centre and again it is again just switching on and knowing what your job is and making sure you do your task – and unfortunately that didn’t happen.”