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2018/19 Australian A League, Regular Season

Newcastle Jets and Adelaide United play out goalless draw

Rival coaches Ernie Merrick and Marco Kurz were taking the 'glass half full approach after Sunday's goalless draw between Newcastle and Adelaide at McDonald Jones Stadium.

With seven rounds remaining, Newcastle coach Ernie Merrick's seventh-placed Jets closed to within five points of Wellington, who lost 1-0 on Saturday to Sydney FC.

Newcastle offered little in attack without key weapon Ronny Vargas (hamstring) after a hectic schedule of four matches in 12 days, including a 4-1 loss to Kashima Antlers which ended their Asian Champions League run on Tuesday night in Japan.

Merrick was looking at the positives of holding on for a point against the fourth-placed Reds.

"The boys were very tired," Merrick said. "I think we missed another clever player in attacking midfield like Ronny and we're going to miss Jason [Hoffman] up front but, considering what the boys have been through, I thought they fought right until the end.

"We created a couple of chances, they created a couple of chances and I thought a draw was probably a fair result. That means we're another point closer to sixth spot, which is five points away from us, so we're creeping in the right direction and survived this horrendous schedule but it eases off from here on."

Newcastle are away on Saturday to Melbourne Victory but then enjoy a week off and Merrick is confident they can finish the season strongly.

The Reds went closest to scoring when Craig Goodwin managed to get in behind the Jets' defence in the 42nd minute but powered his shot into the crossbar. The Jets forced a save from Paul Izzo in the 67th minute when substitute Joey Champness' miscued volley almost lobbed in under the bar. Neither side put the opposing goalkeeper under regular pressure in a game of mainly half chances.

Adelaide went to 31 points, eight clear of Newcastle, but eight behind the top two. Coach Marco Kurz was satisfied with a point and a clean sheet after a 3-1 loss last round to Western Sydney.

"I think we played a good game away here in Newcastle," Kurz said. "We had in the first half the control of the game. We can score with two chances. We have to score one goal for sure but Goody find only the crossbar.

"We had maybe the better chances, we have the control at the end, and maybe a little bit of luck after two crosses from them, but that's it. I think it's not easy for us because, at the moment, we have a lot of injured players.

"At the beginning, we said let us win and be 11 points in front [of Newcastle], but the draw, we can live with a draw better than Newcastle."