8 March 2013 15:50
Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond said finals action is in jeopardy, after his side’s heart-breaking 2-1 loss to Perth on Friday.
The Jets are still clinging to fifth spot on the ladder after the defeat but due to last week’s re-scheduled Round 26 clash with the Wellington Phoenix, they have only two matches remaining this season to push for a finals berth; away to Adelaide and at home to league leaders the Western Sydney Wanderers.
“We have made it very difficult for our run into the semis,” a shell-shocked van Egmond said after the loss.
“We know what we need to do to make the six, probably to win both games. We go there with the knowledge of knowing what we have to do. In some ways that is good.
“When you play at home you are always wanting to get three points and it was very disappointing to walk away with nothing.”
The Jets controlled the match from the outset, dominated possession and territory and created 17 shots on goal to Glory’s 10.
But the visitors were more clinical in front of goal. They took the lead with a goal on the counter to Argentine Matias Cordoba in the 24th minute before Adam Taggart equalised for the home side to see the teams locked 1-1 at half-time.
The Jets squandered a host of good chances in the second half as well as being denied by some fine goalkeeping from Glory custodian Danny Vukovic.
The Glory inflicted the killer blow when skipper Michael Thwaite poked home in stoppage time after the Jets failed to deal with a swinging Scott Jamieson corner.
“You don’t want to lose in any fashion but in particular in the fashion that we lost,” van Egmond said.
“We dominated the game for long period and we obviously created a number of chances but the name of the game is putting the ball in the back of the net and unfortunately that is what we didn’t do.
“We got our pocket picked right there at the end. It was a disappointing result.”
The Jets coach said he was proud of the way his young side responded from last week’s demoralising 5-0 thrashing at the hands of the Melbourne Victory, and said they would have to lift themselves up again for the final two games of the season if they were to make the finals.
“It was a great response from the boys,” van Egmond said.
“They were excellent in their performance and thoroughly controlled the game but it just about us making sure we take our opportunities when they present themselves but unfortunately that wasn’t to be.
“We have a week off and as you can see they responded extremely well and hopefully we will welcome back a couple of fresh legs in Zenon (Caravella) and Sam Gallaway.”
However van Egmond said Newcastle’s marquee man was unlikely to take part in next week’s away clash with Adelaide.
“He (Heskey) has got that tear in his calf and I don’t think he is going to be right for Adelaide, but he should be fine for the West Sydney game.”