There were signs of frustration at Tuesday’s training session in Newcastle with heated exchanges and heavy tackles put in during an intense session as the Jets prepared to face the Hyundai A-League leaders Perth Glory this weekend.
While Glory is flying high at the top of the ladder, heading into Round 10 the Jets are still searching for their first win of the campaign.
The players are clearly fired up to change that stat and at least one Jets player says it's a positive to see a feisty response from the players.
“To see that for me is a good sign,” Jets player Jacob Pepper said of the session at the Ray Watt Oval.
“It shows people want to win, people don’t want to lose the ball or get scored against.
“It’s a positive and shows we have the winning spirit but we have to do it on the weekend.”
Pepper believes Newcastle Jets need to follow the blueprint of Friday night’s opponents Perth Glory to try and save their Hyundai A-League season.
Pepper rejected suggestions the Jets were “scared” about doing what it takes to see out games from winning positions but conceded morale was down a little after surrendering a lead to go down 3-1 at home to Wellington Phoenix last Saturday.
It’s the fifth time this season Phil Stubbins’ troops have failed to hold onto a lead in the first nine games
“We have to stay together as a team and try and work out what’s the problem,” Pepper conceded.
“We go up in games and then the final 20 minutes we seem to lose. Maybe it’s a mentality thing…the boys will stay together, stay positive and hopefully get a win this weekend.
“We’ve got to keep our structure at the back. When we go 1-0 up we have to keep our structure and keep on pressing forward.
“We go one up and we seem to sit off a little bit. That’s where we should change it and keep putting our foot forward.”
And Pepper hopes his team-mates can follow the example of their in-form opponents to help pull off a huge upset.
“Look at Perth, they have had a tremendous start to the season and they just find a way to win,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“If they are down, they find a way to score. If they are in front they find a way to graft until the end and hang onto the result.
“That’s something we need to do and work on the pitch. Hopefully we can change our ways.”