Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna says a top-six finish will be a minimum expectation for the club under a new coach next season.
McKinna sacked good friend Mark Jones last weekend on the orders of owner Martin Lee after the Jets lost their last six games to finish with the wooden spoon.
Lee is apparently willing to spend more on the squad next season, starting with the signing of Roy O’Donovan on Wednesday, and McKinna said that investment would come with expectations.
“I think so,” he said. “The new coach coming in is going to have a bit of movement to bring in his own squad, which Jonesy never had.
“It’s not or else, but that’s where you want to be. There’s only 10 teams, so six out of ten is fair. At one stage six weeks ago we thought we could make it.
“The results at the end of the season weren’t great, and that’s what they judge it on. They wanted to see the team in the top six this year.”
The club’s past three head coaches have been untried in the A-League. McKinna said hiring an experienced coach this time had “been mentioned” but no decisions had been made.
“I’ve not got a shortlist yet. CVs are starting to come in. I’ll be speaking to the Chinese owners in the next day then I’ll compile a shortlist to discuss with them.”
He said it had occurred to him that Jones could be involved in the Emerging Jets program when the club takes it over from Northern NSW Football on October 1, but it was too early to say whether this was an option.
“I’ve thought that, but it’s not even been mentioned yet,” he said. “I spoke to Mark on Sunday, and that was the last thing on my mind at the time.”