Culina praises Jets

Newcastle Jets coach Branko Culina has praised his players' performance despite letting a win slip away via an own goal in Friday night's 1-1 draw with the Melbourne Heart at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

Newcastle Jets coach Branko Culina has praised his players' performance despite letting a win slip away via an own goal in Friday night's 1-1 draw with the Melbourne Heart at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

The Heart started well with lanky striker Gerald Sibon getting a couple of shots on goal, but when Melbourne lost playmaker Josip Skoko early in the first half, the Jets took control of the match.

The home side deservedly went ahead on the hour mark and looked to have the match secure until a defensive error saw Ben Kantarovski mis-kicked the ball over his goalkeeper's head and into his own net to give Melbourne a share of the points.

"That is football for you. Maybe down the track we will pick up two points where we may not deserve them,"a philosophical Culina said after the match.

"But I thought some of the football we played in the first half was absolutely outstanding. We created opportunities and I was delighted with the players' performance, but we are still a work in progress."

"Last week was very good in Adelaide, this week was even better probably against a better opponent as well. But unfortunately the three points went missing, but we are quite pleased with the way we are travelling."

Jets skipper Michael Bridges, who led the attack admirably, was also pleased with his side's performance, particularly the ability to create chances, despite an enforced substitution midweek.

"We changed it from last week where I was playing more the number 10 role but obviously Sean (Rooney) picked up an injury this week so we changed it around,"Bridges said after the match.

"I went as the target man and I had three boys playing around me who have got pace, power and great feet. And we used it. The front four made enough chances to blow them off the park in the first half."

"From a personal point of view we have only got ourselves to blame. We had the game tied up. But you've got to take the positives out of it - the first half we were absolutely magnificent and that is how we want to go about playing the rest of the season."

Culina also said there would be no blame aimed in Kantarovski's direction following the unfortunate blunder that cost the Jets two competition points.

"He is not a kid anymore. Once you step onto the park age doesn't matter, whether it is 18 or 25 - but that (the own goal), happens in football,' said Culina.

"It was a bit unfortunate, particularly the timing of it, with 10 minutes to go."

"But what are we going to? Kill him for it?"

"We move on, we focus on next week, Perth."