GCU: Jets do it tough

After leading his side to 2-0 victory against the Jets for the first time this season, Gold Coast skipper Jason Culina showed some sympathy for the side his father coaches believing that Newcastle's hectic scheduling played a major part in Wednesday night's loss.

After leading his side to 2-0 victory against the Jets for the first time this season, Gold Coast skipper Jason Culina showed some sympathy for the side his father coaches believing that Newcastle's hectic scheduling played a major part in Wednesday night's loss.

The toll from Sunday's gutsy 3-2 win over Melbourne at EnergyAustralia stadium was on display for all to see as the Jets, looking flat and sluggish, were unable to keep up with Gold Coast's slick passing game conceding two crucial first-half goals.

"I'm not sure why they have a programme like that," Culina said.

"They played on Sunday in the middle of the day, the hottest part of the day and played with 10 men. They have come up here and played on Wednesday and now they have a game on Saturday (against Brisbane)."

"Maybe that's something the FFA has to look as it made things very hard for Newcastle… it's a tough week."

"They worked but they played a good team in Melbourne, played really well and they started off really flat, its unfortunate for them, it's a very difficult schedule"

"Miron (Bleiberg) said to go out early and push them, we knew that they were going to struggle early in regards to their fitness and we wanted to get the early goal."

"We went out there and did what he said and it worked. From then on we could sort of back off and save our energy but we had to be cautious," he said.

Jet's coach Branko Culina agreed with his son but attributed the loss more to a lack of complacency, something the Jets showed when they lost 4-0 away to Perth in December after defeating North Queensland Fury 3-2 the previous week.

"We've just got to move on, we've got Brisbane on Saturday… the draw hasn't been all that kind to us in these conditions, tonight was again a difficult game against a quality opponent, then to back that up again on Saturday (it makes things very difficult)," Branko Culina said.

"You've got to stay positive and build them for the game, but on Sunday, it reminded me of North Queensland Fury when we still had to play Perth."

"It was almost like we thought the job was done against the Fury and we still had Perth to beat," Culina said.

With playing stocks dwindling, Newcastle's game against the Roar on Saturday will be made even harder with confirmation that goalkeeper Neil Young had sustained a broken nose.

A challenge from Shane Smeltz mid-way into the first-half left the custodian bloodied and the Jets boss wasn't impressed after the match saying he thought the challenge was as rash as it was late.

"I thought it was a late tackle, I really thought it was a late challenge."

"It doesn't look good; if his wife or girlfriend saw him she wouldn't be too happy with him. He'll have some tests tomorrow but it doesn't look good," Culina said.

It's the second time in two matches that Smeltz has been involved in an incident that has forced a player from the field. Adelaide defender Ian Fyfe was on the receiving end of a Smeltz lunge last week and had to be substituted in the second-half.

Newcastle's first loss to Gold Coast sees the Jets maintain fourth position with 31 points, however it could slide to fifth on goal difference if Wellington manages a win against North Queensland on Friday night making Saturday's clash with Brisbane all the more crucial.