Dutchy praises youngsters

Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond has praised his bunch of fringe players, in particular Kaz Patafta and Antun Kovacic, for their part in the team's 2-1 win over Perth on Sunday evening.

Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond has praised his bunch of fringe players, in particular Kaz Patafta and Antun Kovacic, for their part in the team's 2-1 win over Perth on Sunday evening.

Van Egmond has stated often this season that he has been far from impressed with the duo's ability to play to the Jets' first-team format but he had reason to give credit after the pair shone in Newcastle's fourth win of the 2008/09 Hyundai A-League season.

Patafta played a controlled match in the midfield while Kovacic looked strong in defence and used his height and instinct to snare the Jets' opening goal with a header from a corner late in the first half.

"I thought Kaz was good today," said van Egmond. "He was industrious and he had some nice touches but more so on his discipline on the defensive side of things."

"We have spoken to Kaz in regards to playing a position. Previously he wants to receive every second ball - the ball goes into someone and he wants to get the next one. Today he played his position and he played it extremely well."

"He (Kovacic) is six foot fifteen or whatever … he is a very tall ball and he has got on the other side of Jamie Harnwell which is great credit to him in scoring that goal."

"And defensively he was good aerially he brings a lot to the team especially against teams who look to play quite direct and he diffused a number of things. I am very happy with him."

"His attitude has always been first class he has gone through a really rough period and admittedly I have given him a rough period but he has come through it and he has shown us he is mentally strong and he will be all the better for that rough period and now it is a case for him reaping the benefits."

"And because he is doing well he will be one of the first on the team sheet for next week."

Van Egmond said the win, without stars like Joel and Adam Griffiths and Jade North, was a good sign heading into the Asian Champions League and he was pleased to be able to dedicate the victory to the club's fans.

"It is nice not only for the club as a whole and the boys especially but also for the supporters," he said. "The boys really wanted to dedicate the game for the supporters."

"We said earlier in the week we wanted to three things: to win the game for ourselves, to win for our supporters and to keep a clean sheet … two out of three ain't bad."

"I think the boys that have come in, especially the younger ones, some are definitely not ready at this moment and it has been out of necessity, but to their credit they have done extremely well."

"When they go on they know exactly what their job is with and without the ball and they listen to instructions and I think they were excellent today."

"In the first half realistically we should of had the game dead and buried as we were by far the better team but it wasn't to be and I think we started off a little bit slow in the second half and we started to invite them back in."

"But we had a decent period of time and we got the penalty. We have spoken about the fact that when we are on top we need to get something out of it in regards to goals and in this time we actually did. To the boys credit they ensured that they got the victory."