A new era at the Newcastle Jets began on Monday as Scott Miller took his first session as new coach of the embattled Hyundai A-League club.
Speaking after training on Monday the 33-year-old was upbeat about what the future holds for the Hunter club.
While acknowledging there is plenty of hard work to be done to make the Jets a force again, Miller says the blocks are already in place to make that happen.
“The next two weeks are going to be quite intensive for these guys and we made that clear today,” Miller told reporters on Monday.
“The first two weeks are very much a preparation phase for these guys but today we really changed their mindset and the focus and intensity went through the roof.
“With the recruitment, it’s a challenge for us to get the right quality of person, not only technically and tactically but someone who wants to be at Newcastle and is committed to the next two years and the project we’ve got here.
“Decisions need to be made in a thorough way that we understand the quality of the person that’s our focus.”
Miller, who is the youngest manager in the A-League, faces a massive challenge to rebuild the Jets but feels he’s ready after nine years at English Championship club Fulham.
Asked how his first session with the Jets compared to working with the Cottagers, Miller said: ”I was more inspired today than I have been in a number of years.
“Not due to quality but the fact the development we can make with these players. You work with players at the top level and they’re very close to their ceiling.
“Today these young guys, their attitude and application was phenomenal…I was blown away by it.
“By just reasserting that mentality and giving them the confidence they need, it’s going to be an exciting year for these guys.”
Miller said his main task of the pre-season will be strengthening all areas of the squad, which finished last in 2014/15.
He revealed he had done some scouting during a recent trip to the UK but wouldn’t rush in to making a marquee signing.
“Bargains don’t make sense to me,” Miller declared.
“If we’re going to be challenging for the title in 2 years’ time – and that’s out ambition to build a sustainable club – it’s not about bargains it’s about the right quality that want to be here and are committed to the Newcastle Jets.
“Anyone can look at the squad and see where we can strengthen. We need to become a clearer defensive organised unit and we have to score more goals.”
The main focus for Miller is getting his squad ready for their first competitive match, a Westfield FFA Cup encounter with Perth Glory next month.
“It can be a statement but for us it’s the first significant fixture for us,” he said.
“That Perth Glory fixture for us is of massive importance. It’s a chance for the fans to see us for the first time and for me to get an understanding of the competitiveness of the squad.”