Newcastle Jets coach Ernie Merrick says he's not feeling under pressure and will stick with youth as he looks to turn around the strugglers' fortunes.
"I hear about pressure -- they've got no idea what pressure's like," the long-time mentor said.
"You should try coaching Victory and having to win the Grand Final every year or else you're not good enough. But you learn from it -- I certainly don't feel under any pressure whatsoever.
"I just want to make sure the boys don't feel under pressure."
Merrick expressed his delight with youngster Patrick Langlois' efforts against Perth and said he wouldn't turn to signing a "journeyman" to bolster his squad, despite the injury-enforced absences of Nigel Boogaard, Wes Hoolahan and Abdiel Arroyo.
"I have no qualms about playing youngsters, Newcastle boys have got a future here and that's a long-term future," he said.
"So whilst we have four players out -- three key players who are starting XI players -- I'll give these youngsters a run. I don't take a backwards step from that."
Merrick emphasised the closeness of the league -- there are just four points between sixth and 11th -- as an example of how his team could turn things around quickly.
"Every team outside the six has lost five games, no more," he said. "So you win two games, you bounce back again, and you're in the six -- you win two or three games and you're in the top four.
"So we know that all is not lost but it's not a good position to be in.
"I'm not making excuses for anyone -- to be bottom of the league a third of the way through the season is not good but we intend to change that."