Jets on the right track

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond indicated the Jets had 'turned a corner' in their title defence after their battling 0-0 draw with Sydney FC on Saturday night.

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond indicated the Jets had 'turned a corner' in their title defence after their battling 0-0 draw with Sydney FC on Saturday night.

The Jets have started the season in relatively poor form with two come-from-behind draws and a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Melbourne Victory last start.

But a renewed attitude saw the defending champions match it with Sydney, and ultimately were unlucky to not have come away from the match with all three points.

"Everything was good in terms of character but now we have to work on shape in the final third, final half, we just need a little more silk," said van Egmond after the match.

"We are happy we didn't get scored against - the defensive side of things was something we worked on after conceding eight goals in three games. We had to ensure our defensive side of things worked well and probably with a little more luck we could have got the three points - but to Sydney's credit they defended well as well and worked hard and were always dangerous on the counter."

Van Egmond said the change in attitude was spurred on by the record-equalling loss to Melbourne and the fact that the Jets had lost the respect of their home fans.

"I think it was to do with the fact that we had lost 5-0 the previous game," explained van Egmond. "When I first took over, there was a feeling - someone said they felt embarrassed to be walking down the street in a Newcastle shirt and it is probably the first time since then that we had that same feeling, which is something I am definitely not happy about and something that we wanted to right."

"It was all about the response tonight - yeah the result we didn't get but the response was fantastic. We can definitely build on that response and the way we played for next week."

"It is now a matter of trying to back that up and build on it. It is not going to be easy - sometimes you are going to have suspensions, players injured and players away on national team duty but as you saw tonight."

"Jobe Wheelhouse as a central midfielder and Daniel Piorkowski, who has only come in for a short period of time - both did a really good job, Adam Griffiths gave us a lot more starch in the middle of the park and I felt that was a good contributor in the way the game went. The depth that we have now is starting to look good."

The Newcastle coach was also impressed with the increased effort of marquee player Edmundo Zura. The Ecuadorian is yet to score for the club but showed much more commitment in both attack and defensive before running out of steam and being replaced midway through the second half.

"I thought he (Zura) worked really well," said van Egmond. "Some of his touches and weight of pass was excellent. He had some good opportunities in the first half and as you can see once he gets going he is quite quick. And has nice feet and he is only going to get better with more time."

"Edmundo came off and when he came off we probably didn't have as much silk or someone who is a little more unpredictable to do stuff in the last third before he ran out of legs. Jesper (Hakansson) came on and was effective as well but we just need to find that right path and that right decision."