Melbourne City were a class above on Thursday evening, but Coach Craig Deans praised his players for refusing to give up.
It was a tough night at AAMI Park for the Newcastle Jets as they faced a red-hot Melbourne City who had previously netted 17 goals in their past six outings.
The Jets suffered a 3-1 defeat, but Coach Deans commended the team for not throwing in the towel.
While Melbourne City were too classy on the night, a late goal for Steven Ugarkovic gave Jets supporters some consolation.
“They’re a good team and they’re in that position on the ladder they’re in for that reason so we were under no illusions with how difficult the game was going to be,” Deans said.
“But to be fair to the players, to go 3 nil down and not throw the towel in and keep on working hard and score a goal and make it 3-1 and to still have the energy and commitment to keep working hard, I can’t fault their effort.”
Deans admitted it has been a tough season for his team but believes a good result is not far away.
“It’s frustrating for the Club and for the supporters, but we are close, but we do need to find a way to get to that next level quickly,” Deans said.
Deans admits the team needs to rediscover the form they showed in the first half of the season and starting from the back, become more of a unit.
“We need to start keeping some clean sheets again,” Deans said.
“The period when we had some success was based on three clean sheets in five games, and that’s football, if you keep a clean sheet, you go away with at least a point and if you’re good enough you get three.
“We need to keep working on the defensive side of the game.”
The Jets now look forward to a home encounter with rivals Sydney FC and could welcome back both Ramy Najjarine and captain Nigel Boogaard for Saturday’s clash.
“Hopefully Ramy will be back, whether he starts or comes off the bench, he will add something to the team either way,” Deans said.
“We will push him hard next week and if he gets through a full week of training before the Sydney game then absolutely, he’s in contention to come back in.”