Culina still happy

Despite heading into the Hyundai A-League finals series having lost four in a row, Newcastle Jets boss Branko Culina is adamant his side is still capable of producing a surprise in the playoffs.

Despite heading into the Hyundai A-League finals series having lost four in a row, Newcastle Jets boss Branko Culina is adamant his side is still capable of producing a surprise in the playoffs.

Speaking after the Jets' 2-1 loss to Adelaide United at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Friday night, Culina said the result isn't what bothered him, rather, he wanted a solid performance of substance.

And, barring the majority of the opening half where Adelaide took the lead through Fabian Barbiero and controlled the match, Culina was pleased with the output from his players.

"I was happy with the performance," Culina said. "The result didn't bother me today ... I was more interested in the performance and I thought the performance in the second half was good."

"You gain confidence by putting in a good performance."

While admitting his side were undermanned due to the loss of key players such as Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Jobe Wheelhouse, Song Jin-Hyung, Sean Rooney, Neil Young and Labinot Haliti because of either injury or suspension, Culina was pleased with the way his side fought in the heat of battle.

Particularly, Culina praised youngster Mirjan Pavlovic, who made his first team debut against the Reds.

"I thought Pavlovic was good. He battled hard, he put himself about and that's what I was looking for," Culina said. "(Scott) Balderson is a bit of a different situation but I think Mirjan in particularly did well."

Hoping his some of his injured troops recuperate in time for their finals clash with either Sydney or Gold Coast next weekend, Culina maintained the finals are a different proposition to a regular season round.

"The finals become a more desperate situation," Culina said. "Next week there are no second chances, so for that reason it's a different ball game."