After a heartbreaking defeat in injury time against Adelaide on Sunday night, the Jets are right back into it on Wednesday night.
Hosting Brisbane Roar at McDonald Jones Stadium for their first Hyundai A-League fixture of the New Year, it’s an important one for Newcastle.
With the win against the Mariners in the F3 Derby still fresh in the mind, three points in the bag for the Jets would be the perfect way to welcome 2019.
SQUAD: The lowdown on Lewis
One man who will be particularly keen to get involved and make things happen is Roy O’Donovan, who opened his account for the season with a headed goal last weekend.
Brisbane are currently searching for a new full-time manager, after John Aloisi resigned in the final days of 2018. His former assistant, Darren Davies is currently the interim manager.
They come into this match without a win since late November. Last weekend, Sydney squeezed out a 2-1 win over the Roar, while we beat Brisbane 2-0 at home back in December.
There’s one big change this weekend – Glen Moss is out after suffering a deep laceration to his thigh in Sunday’s clash with Adelaide.
Lewis Italiano looks set to step into his shoes, after coming on for the second half last weekend and bossing proceedings during his first competitive Jets appearance.
It also means that young ‘keeper, Noah James will come onto the bench for this match.
Two men who were on the bench last weekend but were unfortunate not to get a run due to Moss’ injury are Angus Thurgate and Johnny Koutroumbis.
With Ernie facing a busy few weeks thanks to a packed Summer of Football calendar, could the pair potentially play a bigger role on Wednesday night?
After missing out on the matchday 16 last weekend, Nick Cowburn and Lachlan Jackson also return to the provisional squad and are in the mix for Wednesday night.
From the boss
“I don’t dwell on losses or wins or whatever happened in the past, it’s about moving forward,” boss, Ernie Merrick said.
“The good thing is the short turnaround, the boys might be a little bit tired but we’re one of the fittest teams in the competition… all through the game, our high-intensity running was outstanding and it’s even better than last year.
“We’re well-organised, creating chances, and we’re just not putting them away. We were unlucky to concede two goals like we did against Adelaide, it was tough for the boys to take but they’ll bounce back. The morale in the camp is pretty high.
“If Roar are down and struggling, we have to make sure we give them due respect and play the way we play. We always have to be our best – there’s no sudden changes because of anything that occurs, it’s about playing our best football in every match.
“The boys know what they want to achieve, the stats are absolutely ridiculous in our favour, so they know they’re doing everything right in that final third except that final touch into the goal. We need to get on a role and climb up the ladder.”