The Jets will take a lot of confidence out of keeping a clean sheet in the nil-all draw against Adelaide on Saturday.
While the Newcastle Jets would have preferred taking the 3-points against Adelaide United on Saturday, the team will take a lot of confidence out of keeping a clean sheet in the nil-all draw.
“It wasn-t a monkey on our back (keeping a clean sheet), it was a gorilla," coach Gary van Egmond joked after the game.
“A clean sheet was a real positive for us and the boys will take a lot out of that game."
Adelaide started stronger but from the drinks break midway through the first half, the Jets had more of the opportunities to break the deadlock.
“The first 20 or 30 minutes we were a bit too strung out and pressed a little too high at times,” van Egmond added.
“Then all of a sudden we started to understand what the structure needed to be.
“If you give the likes of Marcelo Carrusca and Dario Vidosic time on the ball, it is going to be a very difficult day for you.
“We spoke about blocking passing lanes into Bruce [Djite] and the midfield pairing of Josh Brillante and Ruben Zadkovich did a good job in that area.”
The Jets lost marquee man Emile Heskey midway through the game and van Egmond was pleased how the team played in his absence.
“There is a lot of belief in the team,” he said.
“I told them if they kept to the structure we would be fine; that is exactly what we did.
“They knew what we needed to do in regards to defensive positioning and their job.
“It has never been an issue for us to create opportunities; it has been the other side.”
Young Adam Taggart was subbed on for Heskey at half time and was unlucky to not score for the Jets.
“It was great to see Adam come in and do well,” van Egmond said.
“He created a number of chances for himself and others.
“And it was a really good save by Eugene with his feet; Taggs did everything right.
“It is obviously difficult for him because you have someone like Emile, who is a real target man and such a good player.
“He will get better, more and more experience, more and more games and he will definitely keep developing.”
The Jets will assess the injury to Heskey following scans on Monday. The Jets are back at Hunter Stadium this Saturday and take on seventh-placed Brisbane Roar.