Fond memories of Sydney FC have not convinced off-contract ex-Socceroo David Carney to leave Newcastle despite a nightmare last A-League season at the Jets.
Carney said he preferred to remain at the Jets ahead of Friday night's away clash with potential suitors, ex-club the Sky Blues - a scenario that seemed almost unthinkable last season.
Carney was denied a transfer to Sydney FC in a tumultuous 2014-15 in which he fell out with then coach Phil Stubbins and was "sacked" mid-season by controversial ex-owner Nathan Tinkler.
Carney admitted he only had "good times" at Sydney FC where he was a member of the "Bling FC" team thar won the inaugural A-League title.
He is free to start negotiating with cashed up rivals from Tuesday but hopes he won't leave a Jets side that has been revitalised under new coach Scott Miller.
"The preference is to stay here," he said.
"I love the lifestyle here and I am enjoying my football - the grass isn't always greener on the other side.
"Last year I stuck around and seem to be rewarded now.
"Scott Miller and JP (assistant Jean-Paul de Marigny), since they have come in they have really brought the professional side of things.
"I couldn't ask for much more."
Despite admitting the Jets were "one or two quality players short of making an impact", Carney saw a bright future for last season's wooden spooners.
The fifth-placed Jets are even backing themselves to upset Sydney FC this week after a confidence boosting 1-1 last round draw with title fancies Brisbane Roar.
In contrast, the fourth placed Sky Blues were held to a scoreless draw with Wellington last round in a match featuring 43 fouls.
Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold was so incensed he brushed post-match media for fear of being fined for criticising officials.
"Sydney is going to be a hard game on Friday but they are feeling the pressure a bit," Carney said.
"There is no question they will be fired up, especially after the results they have had lately.
"(But) if we play that game smart I think we can cause an upset."
Carney was hopeful captain Nigel Boogaard (ankle) and Serbian striker Milos Trifunovic (knee) would return from injury against the Sky Blues.