Claude Noel knows that if things don’t change soon his own job may very well be in jeopardy.

On a day that saw the head coach of the Winnipeg Jets conduct team and individual meetings Noel gave an honest assessment of where things stand with his team.

“The problem right now is that we’re trying to put skill ahead of work — we’ve got it backwards” said Noel whose club rounds out a six-game homestand against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday at MTS Centre. “I know you’re going to try and decipher all of the things but that’s the root of the problem. Work first skill second. The thing that I find is that we care we’ve just got things in the wrong order and we’ve got to get them in the right order.

“That’s my job and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Noel has already sent a message to several players by making by making them a healthy scratch but on far too many nights through nine games the Jets just haven’t had enough guys going at the same time.

Given the fact this roster isn’t overflowing with superstars that’s a big problem.

Most nights having even a few passengers is going to lead to another notch in the loss column.

“I could sit a lot of guys” said Noel. “We can be a good team when we play as a group of 20. We’re never going to do it here as a group of five (forwards) and then three (defence) or six and six. It needs to be 20 and that’s one of the things we discussed.

“My job is to get the best out of our team and our players. That’s very clear. That’s my job and if I don’t do that there’s consequences. I clearly understand those things.”

If you read between the lines Noel understands it’s a lot easier to get rid of one head coach than it is to change 20 players — or whatever number of changes general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff might want to make in an effort to produce more consistent results.

Remember the Jets made a significant commitment to members of the core group both in terms of dollars and term during the past few summers and many of those players have some form of modified no-trade clauses.

Cheveldayoff himself received a two-year extension that essentially gives him five more years to implement his plan.

Noel got an extension of his own but it was only a one-year bonus that allowed the Jets to remove the prospective lame-duck status that could have undermined his authority before the season even began.

This group is in it together for the long haul and must find the cure to what’s been ailing them.

“We’re trying to fix it as soon as we can” said Jets centre Bryan Little. “It’s still early in the season but we know how important a couple of points are and how big each game is. The coach has made it obvious that it’s not acceptable to get outworked in a game.”