ADELAIDE United coach John Kosmina reckons the Jets are a good side out of luck.
A 2-1 home victory over cellar dwellers Sydney FC on December 22 has been Newcastle's only success in their past eight games.
They have just two wins and a draw to show from their past 10 matches and have conceded 22 goals during that two-month stretch to tumble to eighth position on 16 points.
The Jets returned home from Melbourne yesterday after back-to-back losses at AAMI Park to the Victory (3-2) and Heart (2-1). Desperate to stop their slide, they host second-placed Adelaide at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.
The Reds bounced back from a 1-0 home loss to Brisbane Roar on Boxing Day and a 6-1 rout at the hands of in-form Western Sydney on December 21 to trounce the struggling Sky Blues 3-0 at home on Monday.
Kosmina, whose long coaching resume includes a stint in charge of the long-defunct Newcastle Breakers in the late 1990s, told a Sydney radio station yesterday that the Reds were expecting a tough night at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.
He said a late Marco Rojas screamer from a "lucky bobble" was the only difference in Newcastle's 3-2 loss to the Victory, and not much went their way against the Heart.
"Newcastle were really unlucky to be beaten by Melbourne Victory two games ago, and maybe a little bit unlucky yesterday," Kosmina told Big Sports Breakfast. "You know, they didn't get the rub of the green, and they haven't had the rub of the green.
"As much as they're playing some good football, the Victory game was one of those where they fought their way back in.
"They got to 2-2 [after trailing 2-0] and deserved to be, and looked like they were going to go on with it, but Marco Rojas finished a lucky bobble exceptionally well.
"But it was a lucky bobble that probably killed Newcastle more than anything, and that's been the story of their football so far these past few weeks."
Despite a 33-hour trip from Uzbekistan in the lead-up, having played a mid-week Asian Champions League quarter-final in Tashkent, Adelaide beat the Jets 2-0 in the A-League season-opener at Hunter Stadium on October 7.
"We have to be careful because, as I said, they're a good team . . . and they're closer to a win," the Reds coach said. "I think they've lost five of their last seven or something so they're there or thereabouts, so it's going to be a tough one."
Adelaide's 3-0 victory over Sydney moved the Reds to 28 points and kept them within striking distance of leaders Central Coast (30), who registered their ninth win of the season with a 1-0 win over Perth at Gosford on Monday.