Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond has credited a pre-season boot camp for helping to instill a new found resolve in his A-League side.
The Jets have turned around the underwhelming first month of their A-League campaign to claim back-to-back wins and climb to third on the ladder behind early season pacesetters Western Sydney Wanderers and Brisbane Roar.
Van Egmond admitted he was under the pump early as a sputtering Newcastle failed to score a goal in the opening three rounds, and blew a two-goal lead against Central Coast in round four and had to settle for their third draw of the season.
But since then the Jets have lifted to win 2-1 away against Adelaide United and secure a come-from-behind 2-1 win over the Roar at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.
Van Egmond praised the character of his charges to turn around their efforts and said they had learnt plenty about themselves on a pre-season trip to Holsworthy Army Barracks in south-western Sydney.
"The players have a real strong mental resolve and it is showing," van Egmond said.
"We did a few things during the pre-season which we looked at to try and help the boys with their mentality and one of those was going to Holsworthy.
"I don't think they will ever do anything as hard as that again and it really gave them a good basis and obviously a basis for the pre-season in general.
"They are pretty determined and they want to have a good season.
"It was really tough for them and it really did test them in a number of ways.
"We can always take from those experiences and apply it to a situation you find yourself in a game and it is always good to fall back on those experiences."
Newcastle will get another good test of that resolve when they host what is sure to be a desperate Melbourne Heart on Sunday, with the visitors and under-siege coach John Aloisi still chasing their first win of the season.