Newcastle stalwart Jason Hoffman was left deflated after the Jets slumped to a 3-0 defeat to Western Sydney in their final home match of the season.
Two first-half goals and another shortly after the restart deepened Newcastle’s late-season misery, with the Hunter side having now lost six of their last eight games.
“Finals was gone but you still want to make a difference on the table and try to restore a bit of pride especially for the local fans,” Hoffman told Fox Sports.
“[We wanted to] give them some kind of hope going through the next few rounds and obviously next season but it wasn’t good enough.
“There are a lot of winners in the team but unfortunately it hasn’t gone our way.”
Saturday’s loss will leave the Jets last on the ladder if rivals Central Coast Mariners can claim three points away to Brisbane Roar on Sunday.
Hoffman said the inability to convert early opportunities against the Wanderers was the “story of the season”.
“You don’t take your chances and then you concede pretty soft goals,” the fullback said.
“All credit to [Western Sydney] as well, they’ve been the form team the last four or five weeks.
“It was just a difference in execution tonight and they did that very well.”