Newcastle Jets coach Phil Stubbins is adamant the harsh lessons learned this season will ensure the club comes out a much stronger force in the future.
A tumultuous season for the Jets ended with a 2-1 defeat to Brisbane Roar on Friday night which confirmed the club as this season’s wooden spooners.
It’s been a campaign to forget for Stubbins and the Hunter club, with just three wins from their 27 games giving them a huge rebuilding task over the off-season.
“The way for us now is up,” a defiant Stubbins said when asked where they go from here.
“We know where we are … it’s been a disappointing campaign. But there’s been a hell of a lot learned this year.
“We’ve done very well against sides at the top end on occasions but we just haven’t done it enough.
“We’ll bring in some fresh blood and when we get to this point next year we’ll be in a much stronger position. For us next year it’s a challenging an opportunity at the same time to improve our club.”
Asked if he had any regrets how his maiden season as head coach has gone, Stubbins declared: “None whatsoever.
“When you want to improve on things there’s times you need to be strong and make decisions.
“And from [the 7-0 loss to Adelaide in January] there was some angst and a transition but we’ve had some kids that played and brought some pride back to the shirt.”
Against an under-strength Roar side, the Jets played their part in an entertaining clash with both sides creating numerous opportunities.
After going behind to Kofi Danning’s 71st minute goal, the visitors hit back through Edson Montano soon after before Roar youngster Lachlan Jackson won it four minutes from time.
Goalkeeper Ben Kennedy was the star for Newcastle, pulling off a string of fine saves throughout.
“There was a lot riding on the game for us and it’s not a nice feeling finishing where we have,” Stubbins said.
“But the boys had a crack. At the end of the day, it could have been 6-6. Our boys did enough to get something out of the game so it's a little bit disappointing.
“[Kennedy] was outstanding. The challenge for Ben is to raise the bar for himself. He set himself a platform today for what we expect for next year and hopefully he can continue on with that.”comments