Match-winner David Carney says Newcastle Jets stunning win over champions Melbourne Victory will fuel their belief of having a successful Hyundai A-League season.
The Jets continued their recent dominance over Victory at Hunter Stadium, with Carney’s 75th-minute free-kick howitzer handing them a 1-0 win.
While Scott Miller’s side were again defensively superb for the third week in a row, it was easily their best attacking display of the season.
“Considering last year we didn’t have much defensively and going forward either, when Scott [Miller] first came in he wanted us to be compact. We conceded over 50 goals last year which wasn’t good enough,” Carney told Fox Sports.
“We started pre-season and we were doing well [in attack] but its confidence getting on the ball and creating chances.
“That will come and winning tonight will give us more belief and improve more from there.”
Carney’s goal was a sensational set-piece.
After winning a foul just outside the box, Carney lashed the ball into the far corner after Brazilian Leonardo opted to lay it off to him rather than shoot directly at goal.
“We worked on it a couple of times in training but because there was no one on the edge of the wall Leo’s played it further across,” Carney explained.
“Normally he just touches it a finish but because there was no one on the edge of the wall I moved across further to the goal so I had more room to hit the target.
“He [Leonardo] spoke to me before and said I’ll just touch it to you and have a shot but because no one was on the edge of the wall I moved more across and I just hit it well.”
Jets boss Miller, who claimed he told Carney at half-time he would score the winner, hailed the win as “outstanding” and admitted this was a great night for the rebuilding club.
Incredibly, it was their first win in front of their home fans in 2015.
After only losing to grand finalists Sydney FC in the final minute last week and now beating the champions, Miller says he has learned a lot about the character of his side so early in the campaign.
“I think when the draw come out a lot of people were fearful of it but we knew it was going to give us a benchmark of where we could find ourselves at,” he told Fox Sports.
“The last two performances give us a clear understanding of where we’re at as a team and where we need to improve. That’s the most important thing.”
Jets skipper Nigel Boogaard returned from suspension and was brilliant for the home side and feels the side not only showed great steel but also their quality going forward.
“The boys hung in and showed a lot of patience, a lot of discipline defensively. They [Victory] are a great side going forward,” he said.
“But we’ve got talent too. Everyone talks about [Victory’s] talent going forward but we’ve got Carney, we’ve got Milos [Trifunovic], we’ve got Leo, we’ve got Enver [Alivodic].
“Carney’s sweet left foot put one in the net. Then the boys just had to grit our teeth. We hung in there, stayed disciplined and good things will come when you give everything you’ve got.”The Jets move into a share of top spot with Brisbane Roar – for 24 hours at least – and take on Melbourne City at AAMI Park next Friday night.