Scott Miller has begun his tenure as the youngest ever Hyundai A-League coach with a rare win in Wellington.
Miller’s Newcastle Jets emerged victorious from New Zealand for just the third time in fifteen visits with a 2-1 victory at Westpac Stadium.
“We came here on a mission,” said a delighted Miller after the game.
“That was to show commitment and work ethic. It demonstrated the Newcastle resolve we’ve been building here. Our foundation is going to be built upon that determination and understanding.”
“Our strength is that we’re rebuilding a club and if you’re involved (in that), that’s a passionate thing and there’s a pride element to that as well. Leaving a legacy is very important,” he said.
Despite having just over one-third of possession and only three shots on target, the Jets frustrated their hosts and took their chances when they came.
“Tactically, we worked very hard during the week on stopping their two “number tens” playing and their strikers making key passes. That was the key I think.”
“Ernie’s got a great team with clever, tricky players and the threat they pose going forward is difficult to deal with. Forfeiting ground high up the park and playing a low line, especially when we were down to ten men, was crucial. I thought we executed that very well,” said Miller.
The Jets mentor refused to single out any of his players for special praise.
“Any team that remains calm and focused and executes a game plan with ten men – everyone gets the rewards for that.”
“A lot of confidence will come from this win tonight. Newcastle doesn’t have a great record here, so to come here and win with ten men is vital for confidence and belief. The execution of the game plan was spot-on in terms of how we wanted to work without the ball. That mentality won’t change.”
“We need to be hard to beat. We conceded 55 goals last year – that can’t happen again. To concede one this evening – away from home – is a positive, but more importantly, it’s about the win,” said Miller.
“We’ll enjoy this one and go back to work on Monday.”
The Jets next host Sydney FC on Saturday night.