They may have started their A-League campaign with back-to-back defeats but Newcastle's midfield trio fronted by youngster Ramy Najjarine are putting Macarthur coach Ante Milicic on alert.
The Jets welcome the Bulls to McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday aiming to open their account for the season after losses to Central Coast and Western Sydney.
Despite the 2-1 loss to the Wanderers last weekend, the performance of 20-year-old Najjarine was eye-catching.
Signed on a season-long loan deal from Melbourne City, the Olyroo created a game-high five chances and also provided the assist for Nigel Boogaard's headed goal.
It was a performance that wasn't missed by Milicic.
"Ramy's a fantastic footballer and I was fortunate enough to work with him when I was in charge of the Young Socceroos, as is Angus Thurgate in the midfield there and we all know how highly regarded (Steven) Ugarkovic is," Milicic told AAP.
"That midfield three is as good as any in the league so we know that it if we give them a lot of time and space that they can hurt you."
Milicic's team head to Newcastle having won one, drawn one and lost one from their opening three fixtures.
The A-League newcomers have only scored twice in those three matches despite dominating possession and Milicic concedes his team need to be more ruthless in front of goal.
"We need to keep creating chances, keep dominating possession, keep playing our football," he said.
"I think we just need to get better and quicker at it and have maybe slightly more variation in that front third."
Milicic will give defender Aleksandar Jovanovic every chance to play after he suffered concussion in last weekend's 1-1 draw with Wellington, though a final decision on his availability rests with the club's medical staff.
KEY MATCH STATS
* Jets' forward Valentino Yuel has had more touches in the opposition box than any other player in the A-League (15), but is yet to score.
* Macarthur's Benat Etxebarria has created seven scoring chances from set plays this season, more than twice that of any other player in the A-League.
* Newcastle haven't lost back-to-back home games since December 2018.