A determined comeback at home to one of the competition's form teams was made possible by an off-season visit to a local military installation, according to the Newcastle bossNewcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond believes pre-season army training enabled his team to produce a gritty come-from-behind 2-1 win over the Brisbane Roar on Sunday.
Newcastle fought back from a goal down to register their second win in succession and climb to third spot on the A-League ladder, and Van Egmond feels some of the mental strength necessary to register such a victory came from their trip to Holsworthy army base earlier this year.
"We did a few things during the pre-season to help the boys with their mentality and one of those was going to Holsworthy and I don't think they'll ever do anything as hard as that," Van Egmond said after the win over the Roar.
"It really gave them a good basis. They are pretty determined, they really want to have a successful season this year and it was great to see.
"It was a really tough situation for them – it really did test them in a lot of ways. It was great in them getting an understanding of what goes on in an army barracks and it was very tough.
"We always take from those experiences, or from something else, and apply it to the situation you have in the game and it is good to fall back on those experiences some times."
The only sour point of the match for the Jets was a red card to key defender Kew Jaliens, who was sent off for dissent late in the match, reacting angrily after a challenge on Jets skipper Ruben Zadkovich. Jaliens' dismissal means he will be suspended for next week's clash against the Heart at Hunter Stadium.
"It looked to me to be a decent foul on Ruben and the frustration of that boiled over late in the game, but these things happen, emotion gets high in these games," Van Egmond said.
"But you don't want anyone sent off, in particular for dissent, but it is an emotional game and he (Jaliens) has been fantastic for us all this year."
Brisbane coach Mike Mulvey said he would not be singling any of his players out for blame after defensive errors from skipper Matt Smith and his fellow centre-back James Donachie let the Jets claim all three points.
"We win together, we lose together," he said.
"The thing about the goals is that it is a collective effort. Both goals started further up the park.
"So what we need to do is regroup – we pick each other up when we are down and we pat each other on the back when we are doing well. We have great character in the group, so that won't be a problem."
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