‘Better teams will punish us’ – Burns not content with Jets’ Derby win
Newcastle Jets fullback Bobby Burns concedes his team almost let their thrilling F3 Derby win over the Central Coast Mariners slip from their grasp with defensive errors.
The Jets ended a nine-match winless run with a see-sawing 4-3 result over their local rivals in rain-soaked conditions at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Dimitri Petratos was the hero for the Jets with a goal in each half but the hosts were forced to see off a pair of second-half fight-backs from the Mariners in the bottom-of-the-table clash to secure the points.
Speaking to Fox Sports, Burns said that while he was in no doubt his side deserved the three points there still remains plenty of room for improvement defensively.
“We really need to make sure we don’t do that again because better teams will punish us,” the Irishman explained.
“I thought in general the performance was superb but the two set-pieces were really disappointing because we didn’t even make them work for them with two free men.
“Then obviously the goal at the end was a disappointing mistake, but we are all going to make mistakes this year and it was good that we could dig them out and get the win."
The result and performance stood in stark contrast to the Jets’ previous start against Western United – where they failed to put away their raft of chances but effectively stifled their opponents' threats in a nil-all draw.
With the injection of new striker Roy O’Donovan into the line-up, and a mid-week focus on finishing, Burns said the team now has the tools to get the balance right and finally move off the foot of the Hyundai A-League table.
“I thought today we dominated the game and they didn’t look like scoring – I thought they did quite well to score three," he explained.
SATURDAY REPORT: Aldred the unlikely hero in Roar comeback win
“But we had so many chances and we kept on pushing again. The addition of Roy O’Donovan up front was a big help for us today and I am just happy to get the win.”
Jets defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley said conceding three goals at home was a cause for concern regardless of the result.
“We could’ve done a lot better with all of them but it is pleasing to get the win,” he said.
Aside from bragging rights in the F3 Derby, the win also marks a happy end to Craig Deans’ run as interim head coach of the Jets, with newly appointed Welshman Carl Robinson set to take control of the squad this week.
With steady improvement in recent weeks, and now a breakthrough win, Topor-Stanley said he feels the Jets are in a position to make the most of the remainder of the campaign.
“We’ve had a chat and a face-to-face and he has outlined his vision and that he is a winner and he won’t accept anything but the best foot forward,” he said of the new Jets’ boss.
“We start on Monday with him and we’ve got the rest of the season to look forward to.”
Mirroring the largely pragmatic outlook of his opponents, Mariners defender Jack Clisby - who netted the leveller early in the second half - acknowledged his side must also do better if they are to avoid slipping into rank bottom spot on the table in coming weeks.
“I thought we showed better fight in the second half. In the first half they were on top of us and we were lucky to still be in the game,” he conceded.
He added: “We have to be stronger at the back as well because it works both ways. If we are scoring goals that is great but we also have to stop them from scoring goals.
“That it is something we have to work on and will address but I thought it was a great effort from the lads today. Obviously, it hurts to lose the Derby, but we move forward,” he concluded.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Sydney Derby postponed
Western Sydney Wanderers v Newcastle Jets
Saturday, 15 February
Kick off: 7.30pm AEDT
Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners
Friday, 14 February
Kick off: 7pm local, 7.30pm AEDT