Newcastle Jets defender Nick Cowburn says this season’s transformation into Hyundai A-League title contenders is inspired by a desire to reward the club’s patient supporters.
The Hunter club are second after 11 rounds and appear well on track for a first Finals Series appearance since 2009/10.
Cowburn, who has been included in the Australia squad for next month's AFC U23 Championship, believes the time has come for the Jets to pay back their long-suffering fans.
"The public here love football. You not only try to do it for yourself and the team, you try to reward the community," Cowburn told a-league.com.au.
"Everyone is talking about the Newcastle Jets and that's what we want. We want a team the fans can be proud of.
"Ernie [Merrick] has come in and wanted to implement an attacking style of football.
"Obviously we're reaping the benefits of it but we know there are still 16 games to go.
"We want to continue, be consistent and make sure we finish in the top two. Definitely play finals."
Those chances will be boosted by the January arrival of former Adelaide United midfielder Riley McGree, who is set to join on loan from Club Brugge.
Cowburn is looking forward to linking up with his fellow Australia U23 star.
"It's an exciting signing for us," he said.
"I've been involved with Riley in the Olyroos squad so I know the potential and the quality he has. He'll bring a bit of diversity to the team.
"I think he'll be very good for us."