Jets feeling the pressure, admits agitated Merrick
A fuming Ernie Merrick has promised changes to a Newcastle Jets team he fears will miss the Grand Final if they don't snap out of a troubling funk.
The Hyundai A-League's second-placed side slumped to a third successive defeat in a limp 2-0 home loss to Perth Glory on Friday night.
With only the F3 Derby to come before a week off leading into a home Semi Final, Merrick made it plain and clear that his players must shape up.
"I'm not putting that side out again," the Jets boss said.
"The way we are playing, that will be it finished. We won't be playing in the Grand Final if we are going to play like that.
"The sooner the boys get that message the better. We're not improving; if anything we're getting worse.
"There are obviously some boys feeling under pressure and they're not playing the type of football they're capable of.
"If we can get the majority of players around 80 per cent of what they're capable of we'll do well, we'll win the Semi Final."
Merrick is likely to have little choice but to make changes for next weekend's clash with Central Coast Mariners after Ronny Vargas and Wayne Brown sustained groin and calf problems respectively against Glory.
Daniel Georgievski is due to return, but a concerned Merrick admits the issues go beyond injuries.
"I would say there is self-doubt on some of the players, and some of the players just haven't played anywhere near their best football," he said.
"That has a knock-on effect. If two or three are down, that really means five or six are down.
"The lack of service to Roy [O'Donovan] was incredible. It was absolutely poor."