More to come from Jets: van Egmond

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond has admitted his team gave up two points but warned once the Jets gets their fluidity back they will be a real force in this year's 2008/09 Hyundai A-League campaign.

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond has admitted his team gave up two points but warned once the Jets gets their fluidity back they will be a real force in this year's 2008/09 Hyundai A-League campaign.

The defending Hyundai A-League champions made a mockery of pre-season predictions they would struggle this season by putting in an impressive display, dominating the season opening match against the Central Coast Mariners, but only coming away with a 1-1 draw.

After a dour first half, the Jets bombarded the Mariners goal in the second stanza only to be denied by scrambling defence and some slices of luck from the visitors.

Against the run of play the Mariners took the lead with an 87th minute header from Olympic striker Matt Simon. But the home side got something out of the match when Joel Griffiths stroked home a penalty during injury time after Central Coast defender Brad Porter brought down Tarek Elrich inside the box.

"We talked about the fact that they had a few missing and a lot of the boys in the Central Coast team had a point to prove," van Egmond said after the match.

"When you play teams like that it is always difficult if you don't take your chances early and score - so the longer the game went the more we invited them into it. And we copped a goal with five minutes to go. But to the team's credit we found a way to come away with something from the game."

"Overall I'm pleased with some of the play in spits and spats and as far as the fluidity is concerned and it is going to take a bit of time to get that back - after three or four rounds that is going to come."

The Newcastle coach said he was impressed with the performance of the team to come back from a late 'against the run' goal and also gave the thumbs up to 16-year-old rookie Ben Kantarovski and Ecuadorian Edmundo Zura, who showed glimpses of his potential as a quality striker before being replaced in the 67th minute.

"There is no deep end for Benny - he is a class act," said van Egmond. "He is only going to get better which is a little bit frightening. He plays in the centre of midfield and tonight he played in centre back and looked like he had been doing it for a while."

"I think Edmundo definitely wanted to please tonight and wanted to score but it is just a matter of getting the runs right and getting the right timing - we will work on that."

"I thought Song was effective in the position we played him tonight. There was a lot of pleasing aspects that we got out of the game but again, as it has been stated, we felt as if we lost two points out of the game."

"I think that the fact that we have come from adversity to come from 1-0 down to get something out of the game is a real positive. The way that we played in certain times shows what we are capable of - for us it is about getting our groove back."