Branko wins bragging rights

Newcastle coach Branko Culina has described his side's 1-0 win over the previously unbeaten Gold Coast United as a good team performance and admitted his knowledge of his son's game contributed to the Jets' victory.

Newcastle coach Branko Culina has described his side's 1-0 win over the previously unbeaten Gold Coast United as a good team performance and admitted his knowledge of his son's game contributed to the Jets' victory.

Despite holding less possession the Jets executed a game plan of pressuring the Gold Coast's midfield to cut down quality supply to their potent forward line and then attack on the counter.

It was a scheme that paid dividends with United's strikers more often than not forced to shoot from outside the penalty area while 20-year-old Jets striker Sean Rooney snatched the winner against the run of play five minutes before half-time.

"It was terrific," Culina said of the win. "I just looked at the statistics that said they had 59 percent of the ball. They might not have had that much quality possession but I thought the best chances fell to us."

"I was disappointed that we didn't convert one or two others because it was too close for comfort given the number of chances we had."

"The game plan was to focus on their weakness and you can work it out for yourself - it worked a treat for us. You can reveal what your opposition's weakness is but you still need to have good enough personnel to achieve it and I thought we had the team to take full advantage of that."

Culina admitted that his knowledge of his son's game helped him draw up a winning game plan that involved shutting down the Gold Coast's midfield led by Jason (Culina).

"We didn't allow them to play," said Culina. "Jason is by far the best player in the country - every time he gets the ball it is quality and he doesn't lose the ball easily and I am not just saying that because he is my son."

"We put pressure on him and we put pressure onto Shane (Smeltz) and if you put pressure on the supplier the guy at the other end is going to have difficult converting."

"It was a collective performance. It was important for us to press them from the middle and not give them time to look up and make the pass they want to."

"It was a good team performance but let's not get carried away it was just one win but we need to back it up against Melbourne next week because we've got a tough month of football ahead of us."

Gold Coast captain Jason Culina admitted that his father got the better of him in the Round 4 encounter, which was the first in Hyundai A-League history to feature a father-son clash.

"Obviously he has watched us in the last three games and he came up with a game plan to stop us and it worked for him today," Jason said after the match.

"Dad studies games intensely and he works hard at it. Obviously it has worked for him today but we can't dwell on it too much. Like I said we just have to get on with it."

"Are there any trains that go to Sydney?" Jason joked in response to the fact that he had to suffer a couple of hours of post-game analysis given Branko was driving his son down the F3 freeway to Sydney before his departure to Korea with the Qantas Socceroos on Monday morning.

The win came at a cost to the Jets however with midfielder Shaun Ontong (Achillis) and Fabio Vignaroli (groin) suffering injuries in the 1-0 victory.

"Sean Ontong is a serious injury he will be out for quite a while with a torn Achillis heel, while Fabio had a groin strain at this stage that we didn't want to risk but his injury will be touch and go and we will have to wait to see what happens in the next 48 hours before we decide what to do with him."