Jets are soaring again under new coach Miller

BACK in May the Newcastle Jets were a basket case.

Players were sacked, coaches got the boot and finally former owner Nathan Tinkler lost his FFA licence and put the club into administration.

Just five months on and the Jets sit third on the A-League table with three wins out of four games - as many victories as they achieved all last season.

So why has the club seen such a tremendous turnaround?

Obviously stability on and off the pitch helps as does a new coach who seems to have the backing of all concerned at Hunter Stadium.

I doubt whether many Newcastle fans knew much about Scott Miller when he was announced as the replacement for Phil Stubbins as the new man at the helm.

I was surprised to see him given the job, especially at a club which appeared to be spiralling out of control.

However, and I know it's early days, it seems Miller, the youngest A-League coach in the competition's history at 34 years, has what it takes to steer the Jets ship into calmer waters.

You only have to look at how Miller managed to turn around what appeared to be a certain defeat to Melbourne City on Friday night into three more points in a 3-2 win, which for 24 hours took Newcastle to the top of the ladder.

Skipper Nigel Boogaard revealed it was some strong words from the inexperienced coach which helped the Jets come from 2-0 down to seal the remarkable win.

Jets coach Scott Miller during his side's win over the Victory in their round 3 A-League match at Hunter Stadium . Photo: Dean Lewins/AAP IMages
Jets coach Scott Miller during his side's win over the Victory in their round 3 A-League match at Hunter Stadium . Photo: Dean Lewins/AAP IMages

Miller had already shown, when he took on Sydney FC boss Graham Arnold in a war of words before their clash in the opening round, that he was not afraid to mix it with the best.

He might not have had experience at this level, but it seems he learned a lot from England boss Roy Hodgson, former Wales manager Mark Hughes, Martin Jol, Rene Muelensteen and Felix Magath during his time as fitness coach and assistant coach before coming home.

The Melbourne-born coach looks like he has what it takes and has shown that you don't need to have played at the highest level to coach at that standard.

He seems already to have got the team playing the way he wants.

David Carney looks a player reborn, while in Milos Trifunovic, who scored twice on Friday night, Miller looks to have a player who will find the net consistently this season.

The coach also seems to have an empathy with his players, and certainly talks a good game.

He also knows that it is still early in the season and things could change for the worse if his team doesn't continue to work hard.

"Maybe it's my Scottish blood, but there's always something around the corner," he said.
"That's not fear but it's realism. And that's football."
I, for one, hope he continues to succeed.



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