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Jan 10, 2010

Flying Jets show power of self-belief

Newcastle Jets coach Branko Culina couldn't care less if people outside the club are starting to think about his team as A-League contenders.

Instead he just wants his players to believe they're good enough to topple clubs like Sydney, Gold Coast and Melbourne and secure a second A-League crown.

Sunday's impressive 3-2 win over the Victory despite playing two thirds of the match down a man after Ben Kantarovski's red card cemented the Jets in fourth place.

It also meant the club has now posted wins over all of the league's top three this season.

But Culina wasn't fussed whether opponents were starting to fear the Jets.

"No, they can think whatever they like," he said.

"It's important what these guys (the players) think. And we think we're a good side."

Such has been the Jets' form over the past two months it's getting harder and harder to dispute Culina's belief he's leading a top team.

After only winning three of their first 13 fixtures this season, the Jets have climbed from the lower reaches of the competition by winning six of their next eight matches.

And skipper Matt Thompson has reassured Culina that the team does believes it can complete the comeback with silverware at season's end.

"When we were sitting second last on the ladder about seven or eight weeks ago we were still saying if we got into the top six we could definitely give it a shot," Thompson said.

"We always believed in ourselves but I think now we're showing people what we can do."

The Jets will aim to complete a hat-trick of wins this year against the Gold Coast on Wednesday when they travel to Skilled Stadium.

That is the first game in a big week for the Jets, with a second match in Queensland to come on Saturday against the Roar in Brisbane.

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