Ernie Merrick has been axed by the Newcastle Jets after a nightmare start to the year. Picture: Getty
Ernie Merrick has been axed by the Newcastle Jets after a nightmare start to the year. Picture: Getty

Merrick sacked by struggling Jets

NEWCASTLE Jets have sacked struggling coach Ernie Merrick following a 4-0 loss to Melbourne Victory on Sunday.

The Jets find themselves bottom of the Hyundai A-League having won two games, conceding 25 goals and scoring just 11 in 11 matches.

Newcastle Jets CEO, Lawrie McKinna, thanked Merrick for his efforts during his time in Newcastle.

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"During Ernie's tenure, the club reached it's first grand final in more than 10 years and we're grateful for his contribution during his two and a half years in newcastle," McKinna said on Monday.

 

"However, results and performances haven't been good enough this season and a change was needed.

"On behalf of everyone at the Club, I wish Ernie all the best in his future endeavours."

The Jets have begun the process to hire a new first team coach.

In the meantime W-League head coach Craig Deans and A-League assistant coach Qiang Li will steer the team in the interim.

Newcastle were dealt a major blow in pre-season with an injury to Irishman Wes Hoolahan, a creative midfielder that was set to be an integral part of Merrick's game plan.

The Jets won just two of their 11 games this season. Picture: AAP
The Jets won just two of their 11 games this season. Picture: AAP

Other injuries to key players in his squad have also hurt the Jets.

Players like Ronny Vargas, Daniel Georgievski and Roy O'Donovan weren't adequately filled by Merrick, who had little to play with.

Chairman Martin Lee has been hit hard by the ongoing US-China trade war.

The acquisition of Panamanian striker Abdiel Arroyo, Matt Millar, Nick Fitzgerald and Bobby Burns haven't plugged the holes that have departed the Hunter side last season.

The sacking brings to an end Ernie's 13 year in charge of an A-League club, having won two A-League Premierships and Championships with Melbourne Victory as well as spending two and a half seasons at Wellington Phoenix.