Jets focused on Victory

Newcastle Jets coach Branko Culina said his team has put their 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Perth behind them as they prepare for Sunday's crucial Round 21 Hyundai A-League clash against Melbourne at EnergyAustalia Stadium.

Newcastle Jets coach Branko Culina said his team has put their 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Perth behind them as they prepare for Sunday's crucial Round 21 Hyundai A-League clash against Melbourne at EnergyAustalia Stadium.

The Jets headed to the west full of confidence after a four-match winning streak but were demolished by a rampant Glory outfit.

However, Culina was confident his side was not mentally damaged by the loss.

"I don't think it has affected us, other than the fact that we lost and we don't like losing," he said.

"We had a great run - we won four in a row and no-one else has done that this year, but we can't expect to win every game."

"It was disappointing in the fact that we lost 4-0 but we are like that sometimes; when we have an off day we really have an off day and that was the case in Perth."

"But psychologically it is behind us. Don't forget that even before the four in a row we won two previous games out of four, so that means we have won six out of the last eight - that is not a bad record. So we are still positive."

Culina admitted there was pressure on the Jets to protect fourth spot on the ladder with a pack of teams within three points of the former champions, however he said there was just as much pressure on the Victory, who are locked in a battle for the premiership with Sydney and the Gold Coast.

"Every game we play now until the end of the season is a 'finals' game because we are all trying to stay in the top six or our current position or even improve on it," he said.

"So yes, it is a finals game for us but it is a finals game for Melbourne, too."

The Newcastle coach also said his side had the goods to be able to turn the tables on the Victory, who came from behind to overrun the Jets 3-1 last time the sides met at EAS in Round 11 in October.

"We have shown that we can match it with the very best. They beat us 3-1 the last time we met but we were a bit stiff in that game," Culina said.

"We led 1-0 and then they scored some amazing goals and ended up winning 3-1 - so it looked easy in the end but I can assure you it was very close. We hit the post and I think their goalkeeper made one or two great saves, so it could have been a lot tighter."

"But that was in the past this is a new challenge. They are coming off a loss, we are coming off a loss so it should be a very interesting game."