JETS youth league assistant coach James Pascoe said midfielder James Brown is still a ‘‘work in progress’’ after playing 90 minutes today in the 3-2 loss to Adelaide United.
The Jets led 2-0 at Burton Park before a horror 13-minute spell for the Novocastrians allowed the Reds to score three goals before half-time.
Senior Jets coach Gary van Egmond dropped Brown back to youth league in a bid to rediscover his form and confidence, which made him one of brightest stars in the A-League while at Gold Coast United last season.
Brown played the majority of the match on the left wing, before being shifted into a central role later in the match.
Pascoe said it was likely to take more time for the 22-year-old to bounce back.
‘‘James didn’t have a lot of influence on the game,’’ Pascoe said.
‘‘He certainly worked hard, but I think his ankle is playing on his mind and that’s contributing to a lack of confidence at the moment.
‘‘He’s a work in progress and he knows where he’s at.’’
Marko Jesic converted a penalty in the 10th minute for the Jets, before fellow striker Kale Bradbery completed an easy tap-in five minutes later.
But the Adelaide side that featured first-team players Jon McKain, Zenon Caravella and Sergio van Dijk hit back between the 27th and 40th minutes with a hat-trick to Awer Mabil.
‘‘We just had a couple of poor errors playing out from the back and our goalkeeper [Aleks Vrteski] dropped one cold at someone’s feet and those couple of things didn’t help,’’ Pascoe said.
‘‘In terms of the football from 18-yard box to 18-yard box we were quite impressive against a very good side.’’