Jets progressing well

Gary van Egmond said he was satisfied with the progress of his Newcastle Jets project after they made another step forward with a 1-1 draw away to top side Central Coast in the F3 derby.

Gary van Egmond said he was satisfied with the progress of his Newcastle Jets project after they made another step forward with a 1-1 draw away to top side Central Coast in the F3 derby.

Labinot Haliti scored to capitalise on Newcastle's early pressure, largely forced by van Egmond's tactical gameplan, before Patrick Zwaanswijk levelled matters on the hour having watched Mariners striker Troy Hearfield miss a penalty in the first half.

The match was defined by a series of formation changes as both coaches fought for control of play, and van Egmond said he was happy to see counterpart Graham Arnold forced to act in response to his 3-4-3 set up.

"We're in a position where we're second or third last and they're winning the comp by eight points so I think I might have had a points decision over him today, but he's winning the war," van Egmond said.

"It feels a little bit like a loss with the way the game panned out and we're a bit disappointed with ourselves that we conceded from a set piece. You come to the team that's leading the comp and play well and have the majority of the game, then get a point. It's a bit frustrating.

"Early on we dominated proceedings and kept the ball quite well, and got the goal. They changed and went to a front three, which was a bit difficult for us personnel wise having to pull Nikolai (Topor-Stanley) into a wide area. That's why I stuck (Sung-Hwan) Byun in which settled things down a bit.

"They stuck with a front three and were a bit dangerous on the counter so we had to be careful with our rest defence but overall I thought we handled them quite well."

Van Egmond said he was glad the 'penalty karma gods' were on his side as Ben Kennedy kept out former Jet, Hearfield's spot kick after what he felt was a controversial decision by referee Matt Gillett.

A loss would have indeed been harsh on his side as they started to show glimpses of the type of possession football van Egmond is trying to implement at Newcastle.

"Someone said to me if you start listening to the fans you'll start sitting with the fans," he said.

"We've got a clear goal with what we want to do and we need to make sure everyone's on board with that. We'll continue to play that way because ultimately that's going to be the best way to play football.

"We have an onus on the fans to get results but with the type of football you want to display as well.

"We're getting better, but we just need to be a bit more selective in that final third. We also had some balls flashing across the box that we need people getting on the end of. You need to actually an outcome from the possession and the number of opportunities that you create."