Jets concede dream is over

Newcastle Jets coach Branko Culina has conceded his club's finals dream is over despite still being mathematically in the race for a top-six spot after the 1-1 draw with Sydney FC at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Newcastle Jets coach Branko Culina has conceded his club's finals dream is over despite still being mathematically in the race for a top-six spot after the 1-1 draw with Sydney FC at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The draw leaves the Jets six points shy of sixth-placed Wellington Phoenix with both teams having two matches remaining before the finals - this means the Newcastle club needs two wins and for the New Zealand club to get nothing.

"I am a realist and I am an optimist. The optimist in me tells me we are still in it but the realistic tells me that it is unlikely," Culina said after the 1-1 draw with Sydney.

"I asked them today (the Jets players) to keep the dream alive and they gave everything."

"It was very frustrating but can I just say how very proud I am of the players. To create so many opportunities and play ever so well and not to get a result is very frustrating but I am very pleased."

"What people don't understand is that what we have gone through and the words just fail me - it has been an enormous effort considering everything that has been going on but I am pleased with the effort today."

The Jets created a host of chances in the match and went close to scoring, particularly in the first half.

Jeremy Brockie spurned an open goal and Labinot Haliti hit the crossbar before Sasho Petrovski was denied by a reflex save and Nikolai Topor-Stanley sent a shot just over the crossbar from point-blank range.

"I think we did everything we possibly could but the ball just wouldn't go in for us and that has been the story on a number of occasions for us this season," Culina said.

"Luck of lack of it. I think we make your own luck. But once again can I just say how proud I am of the players they gave everything and that is all I ask for. They had real mental toughness and character."

Culina said Newcastle's crippling injury toll was the main reason for the side's slide from fifth place two months ago to eighth and virtually out of the finals race.

"People don't understand - I looked at the opposition team sheet and it was the same team for the last six weeks in a row we had 12 players missing and unfortunately for us it has been the whole year like that - not as many as 12 but anywhere between half a dozen and a dozen."

"I would like to see any other team put up with that. Sure we have lost seven out of the last 10 or whatever but we have gone close in all but two of those games so I am not happy that our dream probably won't eventuate but very proud of what the group of players have done under difficult circumstances."