Newcastle Jets coach Phil Stubbins has no intention of quitting the Hunter Stadium club despite a season of enormous turmoil, on and off the field.
The Jets have endured yet another underwhelming Hyundai A-League campaign and are scrapping with the Western Sydney Wanderers over the final rounds to avoid collecting the wooden spoon.
Newcastle have shown far more fight and spirit in recent matches though, culminating in a shock 1-0 win away to league leaders Melbourne Victory on Friday night.
Stubbins remains unpopular with sections of the Jets support, but the former Adelaide United assistant coach, speaking in the aftermath of that upset at AAMI Park, offered a bullish response when quizzed on his future.
“I’ll never shirk down from the fight or the battle or whatever decisions I feel I need to make in order to attain something,” he said.
“And I’ve signed a two-year deal at the club. We needed to make decisions that (were) going to … take the club in a different direction. We’ve done that. And the only thing that’ll vindicate my decisions that have been made is where we finish next year.
“We took a big hit this campaign. But there’s been five years of, I won’t say the word failure, but we haven’t been successful. Everyone involved in the club now from the top down is trying to do everything we can within in our power to make sure we represent Newcastle Jets in a proud way. I’ll stick to it. I’ve never lost faith in my own abilities.”
A disappointing crowd of just 4,000 watched the Jets’ 2-0 loss at home to Perth Glory in their previous match, but Stubbins hopes more results like Friday’s win away to Victory will encourage the Hunter faithful to return.
“Once we gather some momentum and people can see where we’re trying to take everything then everyone will get on board again,” he said.
“The Hunter region needs to be represented in the right way in the A-League and that’s to have a team that’s out there having a crack, doing the right things and winning some games.
“We’ve made some changes as we all know. But I think today is obviously a great tonic for all of us and it’ll only add to the culture that we’ve got and the environment, which is a very positive one at the moment.”
Next up for the Jets is a home game with title contenders Sydney FC.