‘We can’t keep playing like this and not get results’: Merrick confident Jets will surge

They are four points outside the top six, haven’t won in three games and have two tough away games over the next fortnight.

But Newcastle Jets boss Ernie Merrick is adamant his side will definitely be in the Hyundai A-League Finals Series come the end of the season.

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It’s been a rollercoaster campaign thus far for last season’s grand finalists, playing some superb football and creating plenty of chances.

But a mixture of wasteful finishing and bad luck has meant the Hunter club have recorded just three wins from 12 matches.

They could be as many as seven points outside the top six – depending on Adelaide United’s result on Wednesday night - heading into the weekend’s clash with champions Melbourne Victory.

“It is very important that we keep improving our style of play,” Merrick said.

“We are looking forward to playing Victory in Melbourne and then Sydney [FC]. Two away games against two good teams.

“Provided we keep playing the way we are playing, the results will come.”

When asked about his side’s position on the table, Merrick added: “I am not worried about that.

“This is a team that will play in the finals. I am convinced of that. We can’t keep playing like this and not get results.”

While the Jets will be without playmaker Ronny Vargas (suspended) for the clash with Victory, youngster Joey Champness could make his first appearance of the campaign.

Champness has been in full training for two weeks after recovering from a broken bone in his foot suffered in the pre-season.

“Joey has surprisingly put his hand up [to play],” Merrick confirmed.

“He has only got about 15-20 minutes in him but sometimes that is all you need. That is what he did last year.”

Merrick confirmed Dimitri Petratos would switch from the wing to the No.10 role in the absence of Vargas.

Midfielder Ben Kantarovski is also set to miss a few weeks with a groin strain.