Jets not giving up on finals

Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond hasn't given up hope of making the 2008/09 Hyundai A-League finals but admitted the task will be 'very tough' after suffering their eighth loss of the season in the 2-1 defeat to Sydney on Sunday afternoon.

Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond hasn't given up hope of making the 2008/09 Hyundai A-League finals but admitted the task will be 'very tough' after suffering their eighth loss of the season in the 2-1 defeat to Sydney on Sunday afternoon.

The loss leaves the defending champions languishing on the bottom of the table and eight points out of the top four with just seven rounds to play.

"Mathematically it is possible for us (to make the semis)," van Egmond said after the match. "But we are going to have to go on some sort of run to get ourselves into the top four."

"You will probably not need as many points as you did last year as the league is congested but it is going to be tough."

Newcastle started the Round 14 fixture against Sydney brightly and deservedly went ahead in the 11th minute via midfielder Jobe Wheelhouse but allowed Sydney to get back into the contest almost immediately when Iain Fyfe headed home from a set-piece free-kick.

Newcastle had the better of the chances in the rest of the first half but couldn't convert and was overwhelmed as Sydney stepped up a gear in the second half to clinch the winner in the 78th minute through 20-year-old substitute Brendan Gan.

"There are a lot of positives in regards to the performance it is just the result that we didn't get and that comes from the fact of having so many young ones in at the same time," said van Egmond.

"I am not saying the younger boys aren't doing well because they are. It is just the experience they have got in terms of finishing we don't have a lot of experience in regards to that. And that is where we are getting hurt."

"The fact that we don't have an array of proven goal scorers that can take a chance when they appear has been a real burden of our season this year."

The Newcastle boss admitted he was disappointed his side couldn't capitalise on its good start but said the finishing in the front third let the team down.

"You make your own luck," he said. "It got end to end at stages and I was very wary of over capitalising because you look at their front third of Aloisi, Corica, Bridge and Brosque and it is a case of if it goes end to end they have guys who have proven they can put the ball in the back of the net."

"I didn't think it fell away in the second half. I think we still created a number of opportunities. At 1-1 Jesper (Hakansson) had a really good chance to put the ball in the back of the net and we had a couple of other good chances. But once again it was the decision-making or the delivery or trying to finish that hurt us again."

"We were very wary of getting countered and that is the way they wanted to play against us and unfortunately we couldn't keep them out."

Van Egmond also cast aside thoughts of trying to avoid the wooden spoon and said the focus still remained solely on next week's away game against the Roar.

"The first priority is to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and get ready for Queensland," he said. "You have to take each game on its merits. We've got an excellent record up at Suncorp (Stadium) and hopefully we will welcome back three basis players to the fold, so there are a lot of positives to that."