Newcastle Jets CEO Lawrie McKinna says the club will appoint a local coach to replace the sacked Scott Miller for Hyundai A-League season 2016/17.
In a shock move just a month out from round 1, the Jets announced on Wednesday they had “parted ways” with Miller after just one season at the helm.
With the club to open their season at home to champions Adelaide United on October 9, the Jets want a new coach on board as soon as possible.
“There isn’t enough time to go through the process for an overseas coach, so it is safer to look at home,” McKinna told The Australian.
“We need to get someone in place as soon as possible given the competition starts in a month.”
Current assistant coach Luciano Trani, Sydney United 58’s Mark Rudan, Westfield FFA Cup specialist Arthur Papas, Damien Mori (Adelaide City) and ex-Wellington and New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert have all been linked with the post.
Miller’s axing comes just a handful of days since the club returned from a tour of China, where they won all three matches against Liaoning Whowin FC, Eastern SC and Kitchee SC.
“There’s never a good time to part ways with a coach, but to do one when things have been going well, with pretty good results, it’s the last thing that I was expecting,” McKinna was quoted in the Newcastle Herald.
“But this is what’s happening and we have to deal with it in the best way possible and make sure the playing group is not affected and we can move on and appoint the right coach who’s going to take the club where we want to go.
“I’ve spoken to most of the boys and obviously all of them were surprised and some were disappointed,” the CEO added.
“Everybody’s different, but they are in a football environment and these things happen.”
Miller, who was recommended to the club by Caltex Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou, guided the Jets to eighth spot last season.
After a strong start, they ended the campaign with eight wins, six draws and 13 losses, making it six straight seasons without finals football for the club.