Kasey: My ugly exit from Newcastle

FORMER Newcastle midfielder Kasey Wehrman has spoken of his "ugly" exit from Newcastle Jets after he clashed with coach Gary van Egmond.

But the 36-year old, who now holds down several coaching roles, told au.fourfourtwo.com he has no regrets about the way he exited the club.

"Things end, they end. It wasn’t the prettiest ending,” he said. “Would I’d have liked it to end better? Would Gary have, maybe? I don’t know. I’m not glad it ended.

"I didn’t want it to be end like that but not everyone gets to go out the way they want. I was always pretty honest and direct to the point. And when asked questions, I wasn’t afraid to answer them. 

"Probably not always the smartest thing to do but in my mind I don’t regret it on those terms because I was always honest in myself and when asked a honest question, I gave an honest answer.

“We butted a heads a few times before the end of it and it didn’t end like we probably both would have liked, or started probably the way we both would have liked either, but it ended the way it ended. 

"We’ve talked afterwards and let bygones be bygones. I’ve dropped into a few training sessions when I’ve been down in Newy visiting friends. 

"I keep in close contact with what happens in Newcastle and I know a lot of those young boys that came through. I wish them all the best.”

But Wehrman believes the Jets must be more aggressive going forward and assert themselves in games to have any chance of success this season, although he feels overall that there are good signs ahead for the A-League club.

The Jets are currently in seventh position on the ladder, just one point from the bottom, after one loss and three draws.

“There were really good positive signs against Wellington, they should have got more out of the game, they created more chances,” Wehrman said.“And again against Central Coast on the weekend.

"I think they’re at a stage right now that they’re good enough to win games but they’re scared to lose them as well. That’s how they dropped the points on the weekend as far as I could see.

"If you don’t want to lose that means you don’t want to win either. You just sit on the fence and will take 0-0. We don’t want to be brave enough to go ahead and win the game at the moment.

"[Whe] they had Perth in Newcastle, it was a case of both teams saying ‘we don’t want to lose’, because it’s the start of the season, so we’ll have 0-0 and there were no chances anywhere.”

The Jets opened their A-League season with a 2-0 defeat away at Sydney FC followed by two 0-0 stalemates against Perth and Wellington, and then a 2-2 draw at home in the F3 derby with the Mariners. Wehrman says Newcastle need to embrace more of a killer instinct.

“There are coaches in the league, Mulvey, Ange and Gombau as well, and it’s the same with Poppa, they’re here to win games,” he said.

“They tell their players ‘we’re to win, we don’t want to go home with a draw’. So the games are end-to-end and they try to win it, where there are other teams that think ‘well, if we keep doing that we might exposed at that end.

"But if we don’t try to score goals, we can’t win either. So I think Newcastle’s starting to find out now if they want to win they have to be brave enough to take the game on.

“They went 2-0 ahead against Central Coast and it was like, go and get another goal now, because always the best form of defence is to keep attacking and keep playing the same way.

"They went into their shell and they tried to slow things down and it was just a matter of time before the other team got their confidence, and Central Coast could have smashed them in the end.

“[But] there’s good signs for Newcastle, they’re a lot better than over the few couple of weeks that I thought. They’ve changed their thinking quickly on it and Gary’s got them moving in the right direction.

"They’re creating more chances, they’re in games now as well so they have to get Heskey back.”

The Jets have scored just one goal in after four matches, with a Scott Neville strike and an own goal recorded against the Mariners.

Wehrman, who played 37 matches for the Jets from 2010-2012, believes the biggest failure under the reign of Gary Van Egmond at Newcastle was the departure of forward Jeremy Brockie to Phoenix.

“He’s gone to Wellington and scored 15 or 16 goals last year, he’s started off this season scoring goals again,” he said.

‘”You would have had an out and out goal scorer next to Heskey who’s not an out and out goal scorer, he’s got to hold the ball up and do a good job. You’ve got good, hard-running midfielders in Ruben and Brillante.

"The guy Kew Jaliens, you see his pedigree already. He’s got that amount of talent where he doesn’t let anyone get the better of him. He’s great to watch.

"There’s some young boys out on the wing, young Andrew Hoole who’s come along leaps and bounds, he’s got that fighting spirit as well and wants to win.

“They’ve got the ingredients there it’s a just a matter of are they brave enough to step up and go for it each week. They’ve got the actual players there that can do the high-pressing, chasing kind of game as well.

"They’re holding on to the ball a lot better than they used to, they just need to keep creating chances and start to score them as well. They’re a good chance of upsetting a fair few people and can go a run.”