Jets coach concedes

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond has conceded the season is over for the Jets after suffering a 2-1 loss to the Central Coast Mariners in Friday night's Hyundai A-League clash at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond has conceded the season is over for the Jets after suffering a 2-1 loss to the Central Coast Mariners in Friday night's Hyundai A-League clash at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

The Jets controlled the match for an hour but only had Joel Griffiths' ninth minute penalty to show for the endeavours before ‘comeback kings', the Central Coast Mariners, wrestled control of the match with goals to Sasho Petrovski and substitute striker Matt Simon.

The loss leaves the Jets eight points shy of Melbourne in fourth spot with only four rounds left to play this season and van Egmond was forthright in his response when asked if was the end of the club's 2008/09 A-League campaign.

"Yes I believe so," he said. "They (the Mariners) are on 25 points, we are 15, they are 10 points away, four games to go… barring a minor miracle it is definitely over."

"But we don't want to finish with the wooden spoon, so there is incentive for that and there is obviously the preparation for the ACL (Asian Champions League)."

"We need to definitely delve into the recruitment stakes. We have Jado (Jade North) leaving and they are big shoes to fill there and we have a number of positions coming up we can fill as well. Noel Spencer is out at the moment injured. Young Hoffman is another and now Jesic looks like he is gone. Millsy (Mark Milligan) doesn't look good. So it has not been the best of seasons as far as injuries are concerned."

Van Egmond indicated he was frustrated by the failure to convert the plethora of goal-scoring opportunities the Jets created, particularly in the first 45 minutes.

"We have been in the same very familiar situation where we have dominated games for large portions of it and haven't taken our chances, so tonight's no different," he said.

"We spoke about killing off the game after half-time and having an intensity like we did against Melbourne. But we didn't do so and we gave the Central Coast a bit of a sniff and if you do that it only takes a sniff for the Central Coast and they will penalise you."

The Jets boss said he was willing to roll the dice by bringing on young forwards James Holland and Sean Rooney in the final quarter of the game, but the defending A-League Champions were simply out-powered by the strong-finishing Mariners.

"I think there was about 15 minutes remaining and we needed to win the game so we decided to go man-on-man at the back," he said.

"They had good firepower to come off the bench - Caceras and Simon coming off the bench is obviously good impact for them."

"But realistically the game should have been well and truly buried earlier on. As I said we didn't take our chances and if you keep letting the Central Coast back into the game they will penalise you. They have enough artillery to always score."