Ball movement cost Jets

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond has expressed his frustration after the wasteful Jets slumped to a disappointing 1-0 home loss to the Wellington Phoenix at Ausgrid Stadium on Friday night.

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond has expressed his frustration after the wasteful Jets slumped to a disappointing 1-0 home loss to the Wellington Phoenix at Ausgrid Stadium on Friday night.

The hosts created a number of chances in the first half with Ryan Griffiths, Ben Kantarovski and Tarek Elrich spurning opportunities in front of goal.

Newcastle also enjoyed the bulk of possession with almost 60 percent of the ball but were unable to break down the determined Phoenix defence in the second half and were ultimately punished when Wellington right-back Manny Muscat snuck in on the right wing to grab the winner in the 58th minute.

"That is a really frustrating night," an irritable van Egmond said after the match.

"I really don't think we did a hell of a lot wrong. We moved the ball reasonably okay. If we were guilty of anything it was that we didn't move the ball quickly enough at times."

"There is also a case that we had spoken about that we had to disturb their midfield when they got back and sat in. We had to get full-backs going wide and wide people coming inside and midfielders being in support but we were a bit devoid of ideas in that front third."

"And when you play against a team like Wellington they will make you pay and that is what happened."

Van Egmond said the result was exacerbated by the fact that his team had turned in some impressive performances over the past few rounds including holding league leaders Central Coast to a 1-1 draw at Gosford last week.

"We always knew there were going to be inconsistencies this year but after the last few weeks we felt as though we had gotten over that hump," he said.

"From the performance of Perth to now we have improved steadily but tonight was disappointing in the fact that we controlled the mainstay of the game but we weren't clever enough in that front third."

The Jets looked in the match up until the hour mark when Muscat scored but from that point on the Wellington defence looked very comfortable to absorb the Jets attack, particularly as the home side started to get desperate.

"I think we panicked a little bit - they scored and players took an onus upon themselves that they were going to be the one that scored the goal instead of playing a little bit more as a team," van Egmond said.

"That is a good thing in a way because it shows how much the players want to win and how much perseverance they have but again we have to be smarter and not panic in those areas and keep playing as a team."

"There is no doubt that they (Phoenix) defended well but at the end of the day with that amount of possession and that type of possession in the opposition half we have to start creating chances and the decision of the pass and the decision of the positioning is critical and that is where we have to become better."

The Jets now face a challenging run of three away games starting with a quick turaround with a mid-week clash against Adelaide in Bathurst.