Newcastle coach Phil Stubbins says he drew confidence from watching Rocky the night before his Jets side upset Adelaide United on Friday night.
With the Jets winless after ten matches and the Reds sitting pretty in third spot and coming off an FFA Cup win on Tuesday, the encounter had more than a touch of Rocky about it, and Stubbins ran with the theme.
“I was flicking through the TV last night and I came across the rocky Balboa movie – and this is fair dinkum – I thought ‘I’ve got a good feeling about tomorrow night,’” he said after the 2-1 win in which the Jets went up 1-0 only for Adelaide to equalise ten minutes later. It was left for substitute Jeronimo to score the winner for the home-side with nine minutes left to play.
“To actually overcome the fight-back that Adelaide brought to the table – they played a great brand of football – and we gave them possession, we’re big enough to admit that.
“We’re in the first phases of trying to become a powerhouse in the league, but again it gets back to that doubt and if they weren’t united they wouldn’t have been able to overcome.
“I told Jerro (Jeronimo) ‘go and be the hero’ and he provided that.
“It’s a great result and I said before the game ‘we’re gonna need two goals tonight at least’ and it worked out like Rocky Balboa again, you’ve gotta believe. Without risk and belief there’s not much reward.”
An ecstatic Stubbins said finally getting the first win of the season was one of the best feelings he’s had as a coach, but wasn’t getting carried away.
“For us, we’re focusing on every week and on the next game, but at the end of the day, it’s just one game,” he said.
“It looks like Edson will not be available so it’s another setback we’ll have to deal with. I thought he was immense and a massive figurehead up front for us tonight. I don’t know the full medical prognosis but we’ll see how he goes over the next few days.”
An injury cloud also hangs over Joel Griffiths who left the field in the second half after receiving treatment on his calf muscle.