I was wrong about the Jets

At the start of the season, Newcastle looked to be in ruins but the Jets have more steel than first thought.

It-s OK to admit you were wrong. Unless you-re the Fonz of course, and you have a congenital condition that denies you use of the W word.

And in the case of Newcastle Jets, I was wr… wr… wr… wrong. I had written them off before their campaign began yet their season is very much alive.

There, I said it. It wasn-t that hard was it?

I-m sure I-m not alone in thinking that the boys from the steel city were heading toward a year of tough times after the Jets 2011/12 campaign hit serious turbulence on the very day the Hyundai A-League-s heavy hitters were in Sydney to crack the champagne bottle of the bow of the new season.

Who could forget the remarkable sequence of events that saw then boss Branko Culina holding court at a press conference with his fellow A-League coaches one minute only to disappear off the stage to be handed his pink slip by Jets owner Nathan Tinkler?

The turmoil created by the high-profile signing of his son Jason and his subsequent injury left the Jets without their coach and marquee player on the doorstep of the first fixture.

It seemed that the Jets may have swapped their showbiz gold lame kit for the civic colours more familiar in the Hunter region, but the soap opera would go on regardless.

And just like the best soaps, there-s nothing more thrilling than the return of a long lost son to rescue the situation to add to the drama of it all.

Enter former boss Gary Van Egmond, and the Newcastle Jets started to find some clear air.

On Saturday night, Newcastle-s revival continued apace with a come from behind 3-1 win against a Melbourne Victory side still stalked by unrealised expectations and a contagious mediocrity.

With over 17,000 fans turning out at Ausgrid Stadium, easily their best roll up of the year, Tinkler and his administration can feel vindicated that the hard call they made back in October was the correct one.

Van Egmond has set about refashioning Newcastle with familiar faces.
English journeyman Francis Jeffers has been invited back to the club for another stint (though he was missing Saturday night). Michael Bridges has been coaxed out of retirement and made a triumphant return from the subs bench on the weekend.

With veterans Jeremy Brockie, Jobe Wheelhouse and Kasey Wehrman all making solid contributions this season, van Egmond has fashioned a squad of no-nonsense professionals with a decent work ethic and the sort of useful pragmatism that gets results.

The return of Ryan Griffiths to Newcastle from a stint at Beijing Guoan has added a sharper edge upfront, his brace against the Victory helping to give Newcastle all three points against Melbourne.

Van Egmond has seen his side start to dominate possession in recent weeks without delivering a dividend on the scoreboard. The Jets boss would have taken great satisfaction from seeing that trend reversed on Saturday night.

With the Hyundai A-League table suffering a bigger traffic jam than the Harbour Bridge in peak hour, van Egmond will know that those teams that can find a level of consistency that has previously eluded them might still be able to challenge for honours.

With Brisbane Roar-s remarkable unbeaten run ending at WIN Jubilee Stadium in Kogarah at the hands of Sydney FC on Sunday, the incentive for the chasing pack is clear.

Many had this title already pencilled in for Postecolgou-s men. There-s still every chance to prove the doubters wrong all over again.