Football 2 years ago

Ambition was requested, and Jets delivered

  • Ambition was requested, and Jets delivered

He asked for ambition from his depleted playing group, and Newcastle coach Scott Miller couldn't have been happier to take a point off one of the A-League's biggest title contenders.

The Jets scraped a 1-1 home draw off Brisbane's plate on Saturday evening to deny the then table leaders both a win for a second week running and an opportunity to stay top.

They did so without the service of two key players - captain Nigel Boogaard (ankle) in central defence and Serbian striker Milos Trifunovic (knee)- after Miller made a late call they weren't physically up for the contest.

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In Trifunovic's place started teenager Braedyn Crowley, who before the match had a total four minutes' A-League experience.

The 19-year-old settled into the game well and though Miller admitted he would probably be kicking himself for missing an easy tap-in the coach praised his maturity under duress.

But more widely Miller was satisfied with the way his side improved after last week's scoreless away draw with Adelaide in which the Jets enjoyed 60 per cent of possession but failed to record a single shot on goal.

"We spoke about ambition throughout the week," Miller said.

"Last week as I said 60 per cent (possession) away from home is a step, but it was always in the back third and mid third and no penetration in the final third.

"That was the word all week: ambition in the final third."

They may have had even more of it than Brisbane, who were the classier side but could not make good on a slew of chances, partly because of Jets custodian Mark Birighitti's standout performance which included a brilliant leaping parry to deny Jamie Maclaren a second goal.

Miller suggested his youthful and fearless side can be underestimated by oppositions, which only works in their favour.

However it's not a phenomenon he envisaged happening when Newcastle travel to Allianz Stadium on Friday to face Sydney FC for the second time this season.

The first was a controversial affair at Hunter Stadium in which Birighitti sustained a gruesome facial injury following a collision with Shane Smeltz and the Sky Blues netted a winner at the death.

"If you look back to that and conceding late on, we matched them that day, from the intensity to the technical and tactical approach," Miller said.

"This result gives us the foundation to continue our building process here."

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