Culina credits injured Jets duo

Newcastle Jets coach Branko Culina has praised the courage of Jeremy Brockie and Adam D'Apuzzo for playing while not fit as the Jets' mounting injury toll looks set to derail their season.

Newcastle Jets coach Branko Culina has praised the courage of Jeremy Brockie and Adam D'Apuzzo for playing while not fit as the Jets' mounting injury toll looks set to derail their season.

The Jets lost 2-0 to Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night, their fourth straight defeat, meaning they are four points out of the finals race with just three matches to go.

Culina admits his side were outplayed by a less than full-strength Victory side, but was proud enough of his young team's efforts, especially when they went down to 10 men after Marcello Fiorentini was sent off on 61 minutes.

"You take six or seven players from any side, key players, and see how you go. The effort is there and that's all you can ask for. It makes it difficult now. We-ve still got three games to go, two of them at home and you never know," he said.

"The better team won, there's no question about that."

"Since the last time we played Melbourne Victory, when I thought were stiff to have concede a last-minute goal, we've lost Milicevic, Jeffers, Wehrman, Kantarovski, Zadkovich and Ali Abbas. Ryan Griffiths is missing as well."

Culina said the only reason that injured pair D'Apuzzo and Brockie were even on the park was because of the lack of options the club had and the fact they were willing to play on through their problems.

The coach earmarked the pair as future leaders of the club after putting their team's finals prospects ahead of their own discomfort.

"Players like Adam D'Apuzzo and Jeremy Brockie shouldn't be on the park. It's a credit to them that they put their hand up because of the numbers. They are terrific," he said.

"We need to build our future on people like that, people who are prepared to put up their hand where most others would have opted to have another week or two break. Brockie is probably another two or three weeks off starting, and he's starting the last couple of weeks. D'Apuzzo, according to the medical staff, needed four weeks - he only had two weeks."

"You have to give credit to those guys, And that's why you pretty buoyed, and you look at the players that are missing, and you have players prepared to play under duress, you get optimistic."