Plenty of positives for Jets

Despite only managing a goalless draw against Adelaide United on Saturday, Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond was thrilled to have the 'monkey' off their backs by keeping their first clean sheet of the season.

Despite only managing a goalless draw against Adelaide United on Saturday, Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond was thrilled to have the 'monkey' off their backs by keeping their first clean sheet of the season.

The Jets have the second-worst defensive record in the league - conceding 28 goals in just 14 matches - and the Jets manager has been repeatedly dogged by questions of his team's defensive frailties over the past few months, especially the fact that they had leaked goals in every match played this year.

But it was a slightly different story at Hunter Stadium as the Jets prevented Adelaide going top of the A-League.

"It wasn't a monkey, it was a gorilla hanging over us," said van Egmond after the match.

"It is a good feeling - we can gain a lot of confidence out of the fact of keeping a clean sheet and creating a number of chances.

"From the perspective of creating a number of chances unfortunately none of them we could take, but we created a good number of chances."

The Jets went into the game with an extremely young backline with teenager Connor Chapman partnering local junior Taylor Regan in the centre of defence and 20-year-olds Sam Gallaway and Craig Goodwin making up the back four.

"It (the defensive line) may have been together in a youth team game but I don't know it has been together in first grade. But they did extremely well," van Egmond said.

"Probably the first 20 to 30 minutes we were a bit too strung out and we probably pressed a little too high at times in connection with where the back four was at and that makes it a little bit easier to play out and play through us.

"Then all of a sudden we understood what the structure needed to be and we started to drop a little bit more towards the D and they turned the ball over in areas and we looked very dangerous on the counter and we created some good chances."

Adelaide started the Round 15 contest better with Dario Vidosic having a shot saved by Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti in just the fifth minute of play.

But Newcastle weathered the storm and eventually started to control proceedings.

Ryan Griffiths had two shots blocked and James Brown threatened just before half-time.

The home side was the more dangerous in the second half with substitute striker Adam Taggart having his on-target shot superbly saved by Reds goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic near the hour mark.

"It is just the little things we have spoken about of players need to do when they get in certain situations especially when it is in the front third and whether it is the player with the ball or the person receiving the ball," van Egmond said.

"We are happy in that we got a point and happy that we kept a clean sheet, but we would have liked to get the three points."

The result was soured for the Jets by an injury to marquee man Emile Heskey, who was replaced by Taggart at half-time due to quadriceps injury.

"He has probably got a grade one (tear) in his quad," van Egmond said of Heskey's injury.

"So we will assess that when he has cooled down. We will see what the medicos say."