MISSED OPPORTUNITY: Winger Andrew Nabbout shows his disappointment after the finals-crushing 5-0 loss to Wellington. Picture: Getty Images.
CHIEF executive Lawrie McKinna has vowed to strengthen the Newcastle Jets roster next season and has put players on notice to perform or risk being shown the door.
– Lawrie McKinnaThe recruitment process has already began. The Jets are favourites to sign Central Coast Mariners striker Roy O’Donovan and are in talks with Melbourne Victory defender Daniel Georgievski and former Socceroo Michael Thwaite.
Of the current squad, there are 11 players off contract headed by imports Morten Nordstrand, Mateo Poljak and Ma Leilei.
“Some boys have three weeksto secure their future,” McKinna said.“That is not a threat. That is just football.”
Coach Mark Jones described the Wellington performance –the fourth loss in five games –as “unacceptable” and has demanded a positive response in the final three rounds, starting with the home clash against Western Sydney on Saturday.
“They have to step up and show that they want to be a part of the club going forward,” he said. “It is clearly not something the community is going to accept, the club is going to accept or we are going to accept. We have to do better. The players who stand up and show they want to be here will be rewarded. The ones who don’t, we need to replace with quality.We need to be actively out in the transfer market to make sure we strengthen the squad.”
It is the seventh straight season the Jets will not feature in the play-offs.
Fans vented their disapproval on the Newcastle Herald website and social media, with many declaring the capitulation in Wellington the final straw.
“I can understand the fans’ frustration,” McKinna said. “I am a fan myself. It was hard watching it.”
Supporters were not the only ones disappointed.
“I spoke on the phone with [owner] Martin Lee and he wasnot happy with the result,” McKinna said. “None of us are happy with the result.”
Asked if Jones had lost the dressing room, McKinna said: “No”.
“I will sit down with Mark when he gets back tomorrow,” the CEOsaid. “As coaches, did they prepare properly, was every detail done … we need to put a finger on what went wrong.”