NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 09: Johnny Koutroumbis of the Newcastle Jets looks dejected after a drawn result during the Round 5 A-League match between the Newcastle Jets and the Perth Glory at McDonald Jones Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 09: Johnny Koutroumbis of the Newcastle Jets looks dejected after a drawn result during the Round 5 A-League match between the Newcastle Jets and the Perth Glory at McDonald Jones Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

Frustrated Jets finding wins, goals elusive

Newcastle coach Ernie Merrick remains confident the A-League season isn't getting away from the Jets despite not winning a game so far.

 

Sitting second last on the ladder after four games, the Jets are struggling for goals and desperately need a win to kick-start their campaign.

 

After Saturday's 1-1 draw with Perth at McDonald Jones Stadium, Merrick said the Jets were nearing their best football and not far off the best teams in the competition.

 

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Johnny Koutroumbis and the Jets are going through a frustrating time at the moment.
Johnny Koutroumbis and the Jets are going through a frustrating time at the moment.

"We've only played four games - most teams have played five," he said.

 

"If we keep playing like that, we will win games and the quality of the performance was brilliant."

 

The Jets have scored just four goals all season, and were again cruelled out of thre competition points with a late goal from the Glory's Diego Castro.

 

They will face league newcomers Western United on Saturday at GMHBA Stadium and, despite their strong start to the season, Merrick is confident the Jets can win.

 

"I've had a good look at them (United)," he said.

 

"As I've said, I don't think there's any team going to break away substantially. I know Melbourne City are at the top of the ladder just now and Western United has had a good start, but I think it will be a very tight competition which is good for the crowds.

 

"I don't think there's any team that's going to get away.

 

"The best team we've played so far is Sydney and that was at their home and we didn't play so well. I don't think there's any standout team so far."

 

Gabriel Popovic is surrounded by the Jets defence on Saturday.
Gabriel Popovic is surrounded by the Jets defence on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Perth coach Tony Popovic was a proud father on Saturday as he handed 16-year-old son Gabriel his A-League debut against the Jets.

 

It was a special moment for the Popovic family as Gabriel became the second brother to make his debut for Glory after older brother Kristian did so in April.

 

Tony - their father, former Socceroo and now their A-League coach - introduced Gabriel late on after star Diego Castro levelled the scores at 1-1.

 

"It was a special moment for him. For all of us who have been lucky enough to play the game, you always remember your debut. So for him, it's a special moment and, for us as a family, it's a special moment," Popovic said.