Newcastle's luck turns in 'worst performance by a long way'

Craig Deans believes Newcastle Jets' luck may be turning after his side edged Wellington Phoenix 2-1 to get their A-League season up and running on Sunday.

Newcastle were staring down the barrel of what would have been a record fifth consecutive A-League defeat to start the new campaign, but emerged victorious over Phoenix thanks to two sucker-punch strikes from Valentino Yuel and Roy O'Donovan. 

The Hunter Valley outfit were aided by the crossbar and a heroic goalkeeping performance from Jack Duncan as Wellington could not convert their chances until Ulises Davila's late penalty.

Deans admitted his side did it the hard way en route to their season's maiden win.

"We've had three and a half good performances this season without getting points, and that was probably our worst performance by a long way," he told FOX Sports.

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"We got into a bit of fighting, we need to show a little bit more composure when it comes. 

"We had a little bit of luck tonight, which we had been missing."

Newcastle held 35% possession and were out-shot 23-11 by their opponents in Wollongong, but there still plenty of positive aspects for Deans and his charges to take.

The Jets executed two excellent counter attacks for Yuel and O'Donovan's goals and will feel they should have sealed the match with a third but could not take advantage of other chances that they forged in transition. 

According to defender Nigel Boogaard, the result is all that matters. 

"It's massive. It was probably our worst footballing performance today," he said.

"Game management-wise we took the lead and probably could've put it to bed earlier but we didn't capitalise on those things.

"The key moments have gone against us this season and tonight the key moments were with our backs against the wall, and the boys were fantastic."

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Next Matches

Western Sydney Wanderers v Newcastle Jets
Friday, 29 January 2021
Kick-off: 7.05pm AEDT
Venue: Bankwest Stadium
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports
Match Centre

Central Coast Mariners v Wellington Phoenix 
Saturday, 31 January 2021
Kick-off: 4.05pm AEDT
Venue: Central Coast Stadium
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505
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