“They’ll feel a lot better in themselves”: Merrick praises Jets as they rain down goals on Wanderers
Newcastle Jets boss Ernie Merrick cut a relieved figure at the post-match press conference after his side put their goalscoring woes behind them to thrash Western Sydney Wanderers 5-1 on Friday night.
At a rain-sodden ANZ Stadium, the Jets scored three first-half goals before going on to seal an emphatic result.
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Having largely struggled to put the ball in the back of the net this season, the four-goal buffer was welcomed by Merrick.
“We’d been threatening to score a number of goals, we’ve been getting into that front third, we’ve had more opportunities and shots than every other team in the league and today it went well for us,” he said.
“I think the players were really impressed with that result, we were exhausted at the end, as I said we’ve played six games and only one at home so the boys are pretty tired.
“We’ve got another game on Thursday night but I think they’ll feel a lot better in themselves and their belief.”
Despite the margin of victory, the Scotsman hosed down suggestions that the Wanderers had been easy beats, claiming the home side weren’t far off the pace.
“I think the Wanderers are a good team,” Merrick said.
“I honestly don’t think there’s much difference between the bottom teams and the top teams and I don’t think 5-1 was a true reflection of the level of the two teams. We certainly dominated the first half, particularly our midfield.”
Merrick revealed he tried to take Roy O’Donovan off after the Irishman scored the second of his two penalties after a promise made to the squad.
“I did say that anyone who scored a hat-trick I’d shout them dinner and I tried to take Roy O’Donovan off but he wouldn’t come off so I was a bit worried about it costing me some money but it was good seeing him score two goals as well,” he said with the faintest of grins.
For Wanderers manager Markus Babbel it was the same old story after his side capitulated under pressure.
"The first 10-20 minutes we started well, but then, and I'm not sure why, we forgot the game plan,” he said.
"We had good ideas, but then you see the result. If they stop thinking, then you get a result like this. If they're not following us, if you're not doing it, then comes these results.”