Strong end-of-season form and a full pre-season are reasons why Newcastle Jets can be a force in the A-League next year, according to coach Carl Robinson.
Carl Robinson is confident his Newcastle Jets can make an impact in next season's A-League after his new charges completed a disappointing campaign in season-best form.
The Jets concluded their season on Thursday in eighth with a 3-0 win over high-flying Wellington Phoenix, to finish just three points shy of a guaranteed semi-final berth.
Newcastle had the best record of any team since the A-League resumed in mid-July, collecting three wins and a draw, with the run highlighted by a victory over runaway leaders Sydney FC.
Robinson assumed control of the Jets in February, just six weeks before the COVID-19 enforced break.
"We are only just scratching the surface, with not too much training time with the players," Robinson said.
"I have had to fast track it (the playing style) without breaking it down into too much detail.
"I said to the players it is amazing what belief and confidence does to players."
Robinson is optimistic most of the squad will be retained with only "two or three out of contract' although key forward Dimi Petratos has been linked with a move to a club in Saudi Arabia.
"A lot of the players have done themselves a lot of good, especially because I want to play a certain style," said Robinson.
"They have had to fit into that and they have enjoyed playing it."
The dangers of that playing style were on display against Wellington, with the Jets caught in possession on several occasions as they constantly tried to play the ball out from the back.
But the ball-playing style came off in spectacular fashion moments before half-time, as Nick Fitzgerald scored the opening goal by completing a sequence where all 10 Jets outfield players touched the ball.
Second-half counter-attacking goals from Robinson-recruit Bernie Ibini and Jason Hoffman completed the win against an unlucky Phoenix.
"It's the old Arsenal scenario when it comes off, it's brilliant and everyone loves it," Robinson said of Fitzgerald's goal.
"And when it doesn't come off and you lose the ball on the edge of the box, it leads to a transition moment and people will say 'well, we're really naive.'
"I said to the group I'm willing to take responsibility for mistakes, because when we get it right and our timing and movement is right we can score goals like that."
Former Wales international Robinson took over from Ernie Merrick, who led the club to the grand final just two years ago.