Ernie Merrick’s tenure at the Newcastle Jets has come to a sudden end. PIcture: Darren Pateman/AAP
Ernie Merrick’s tenure at the Newcastle Jets has come to a sudden end. PIcture: Darren Pateman/AAP

Expect to see Ernie back: Mark Bosnich FOX SPORTS

I HAVE to say I felt sad for Ernie Merrick this week after he was shown the door at the Newcastle Jets.

Ernie is an exceptional coach and one of the best mentors the A-League has seen.

He probably deserved to win a grand final with the Jets but was cruelled by some excellent goalkeeping and a wrong VAR call against Melbourne Victory at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

I am sure he will be back at some stage. Some would say, though, that Ernie's time was up, with the Jets at the bottom of the A-League ladder after winning only two of 11 games and conceding 15 goals in their past four matches.

I can understand the reasons the Jets' hierarchy wanted a change, but it doesn't get any easier for interim coach Craig Deans with Newcastle facing runaway leaders Sydney FC tonight.

Considering the way Steve Corica's team has been playing, I think the Jets would have struggled against the Sky Blues even if Merrick hadn't been sacked.

It will be interesting to see just how the Newcastle players react.

Normally after a coach gets the boot, the team responds in a positive way. Hopefully, for the Jets' sake that will happen tonight, but let's wait and see.

While Sydney FC have been lighting up the league, things haven't been quite so bright for Markus Babbel and the Western Sydney Wanderers.

Another loss last week to Brisbane Roar has piled more pressure on the German coach, whose side takes on the in-form Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.

Wanderers head coach Markus Babbel is under pressure to get results. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
Wanderers head coach Markus Babbel is under pressure to get results. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Wellington have been the second-best    team    in   the A-League, behind Sydney FC and alongside Melbourne City, and are a tough nut to crack, especially across the ditch.

They have become a formidable unit under Ufuk Talay and no one expects the Wanderers will get a positive result in Wellington.

However, they played some good football despite losing to the Roar last week and could cause an upset.

Speaking of the Roar, I thought their first away win of the season against the Wanderers last week was the best performance of their season so far.

They take on Melbourne City in the game of the round at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow.

Roar coach Robbie Fowler will be hoping his strikers continue to shine after two good showings in a row.

City played some of the best football of the season to go 3-0 up against Western United last week, but then seemed to lose concentration and scraped home 3-2.

It seems they can climb to the top of the mountain but then get a nosebleed and don't feel comfortable.

It's all about being consistent for them, but if they get that then watch out.

Perth have been hitting their straps recently after a slow start to the season, so their game against Adelaide should be a cracker but I expect the Glory to again come out on top.

The same goes for Melbourne Victory, who have also come good over the past few weeks and should be too strong for a struggling Central Coast outfit.

 

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