Van Egmond aims to lift Jets after loss

March 8, 2013
By Angela Habashy

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond is desperately hoping what doesn't kill his side makes them stronger after suffering another heartbreaking loss in their A-League finals tilt.

The Jets levelled just before the break but watched another match slip though their fingers when Perth's Michael Thwaite found the winner deep in injury time to seal the 2-1 victory at Hunter Stadium on Friday.

After dominating most of the match and making sure Glory 'keeper Daniel Vukovic was the busiest man on the pitch with a glut of chances, the Jets walked away empty-handed.

Perth, however, kept their finals hopes alive by climbing to seventh spot.

But while happy to take the three points, even Glory coach Alistair Edwards admitted his side didn't deserve to win.

It was the second consecutive loss for the Jets who wanted desperately to rebound from their 5-0 thrashing by Melbourne Victory last week, and leaves their playoff chances hanging by a thread with only two games remaining.

They may still be sitting in fifth place, but have a congested bottom-half of the ladder breathing down their neck and have played an extra game.

And with matches against fourth-placed Adelaide away before hosting leaders Western Sydney, the Glory clash was their best chance of securing three points.

"It's pretty up there in terms of being shattered for me personally," van Egmond admitted after the loss.

"So I could imagine what some of these boys are going through.

"But it's a good experience for some of these younger players to go through to see that you have to back up and you fight for your wins and you have to keep working hard and keep that right attitude to ensure you're right for that next game.

"That's going to be a good task for them this week."

The Jets are hoping to have some fresh legs back against Adelaide in midfielder Zenon Caravella and defender Sam Gallaway but will still be without injured marquee man Emile Heskey (calf).

Teen striker Adam Taggart, who scored the equaliser against Perth, is likely to again play at the point of attack in Heskey's place.

"We've made it very hard for ourselves now," van Egmond said.

"It's a case for us going to Adelaide and getting a win and doing the same against Western Sydney.

"It should be great theatre ... with so many teams vying to get into that top six."