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Jet Nabbout savouring A-League renaissance

NZN 13/12/2016 Emma Kemp

He's been the difference for Newcastle this A-League season, and livewire winger Andrew Nabbout thinks it might be down to a point of difference he's found in himself.

It's tough to tell whether Nabbout's early return from an ankle problem was what lifted the Jets to a level previously out of reach for a team ravaged by injuries and struggling with form.

Either way - and unfortunately for languishing Perth - the 23-year-old was the undisputed star of Saturday night's show, the primary attacking channel of a much-improved side which deserved its historic 2-1 win.

It was the Jets' first victory in the west since 2005 and their first in eight games this campaign to lift them from ninth to seventh.

"I felt really good, I went out there and gave it my all," Nabbout told AAP.

"And to be playing against a Socceroos defender in Josh Risdon and play well, I couldn't ask for much more."

Nabbout is more keen to focus on the team's collective effort, helped by the return of defensive general Daniel Mullen for 90 minutes and captain Nigel Boogaard on the bench.

But with three man-of-the-match appearances in seven games, the former Melbourne Victory fringe player is also enjoying a renaissance of sorts since joining the Jets after a short spell at Malaysian outfit Negeri Sembilan.

"It's just a confidence thing really," he said.

"I turned it around after the not-so-pleasant experience overseas and learnt to just relax a little bit and enjoy my football."

For Mark Jones' luckless side, Nabbout feels this is the start of something and, possibly, the end of a six-season finals drought.

Depending on other results they can crack the top six with a win over last-placed Adelaide at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday night.

"We're not going to take our foot off the gas one bit," Nabbout said.

"And we're wary of Adelaide, because a lot of people are saying now is the perfect time to hit them while they're down.

"But (Sergio) Cirio and Henrique are back and they could come out firing like we did against Perth and it could go all wrong for us.

"We have to play our part just as much as we did against Perth, and even more to get something out of this game."

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