Jets still eye finals

Newcastle Jets are not ready to throw in the towel on their A-League play-off chances yet despite their 1-0 loss to Wellington Phoenix.

Newcastle Jets are not ready to throw in the towel on their A-League play-off chances yet despite their 1-0 loss to Wellington Phoenix.

A 20th-minute goal from Dylan Macallister was enough for the home side to claim all three points at Westpac Stadium on Sunday which lifted them to sixth and opened up a four-point gap on the Jets in eighth place.

Despite the setback, and the loss of Ryan Griffiths for the next two games following his red card for dissent, Newcastle coach Branko Culina remained upbeat ahead of Wednesday's trip to Melbourne Victory.

"If we had got something out of the game it would have made it difficult for Wellington but I still think it will go down to the last game," Culina said of the battle for a play-offs berth.

"I've said all along that 40 points will be enough to make the finals. We're about nine shy so we're a fair way off but mathematically it's still possible."

"If we keep playing the way we did today and we're competing. We won't give in. I saw a lot of positives today and we've got two games at home and one away in addition to the Melbourne game. If we keep playing like that we'll make it difficult for the opposition."

The Jets certainly had chances in the game with Jeremy Brockie, on the comeback from a broken foot, having two good opportunities in the first half and Marko Jesic rattling the woodwork and forcing a smart one-handed save from Danny Vukovic in the second.

But when Griffiths was given his marching orders by Chris Beath in the 66th minute trying to find the equaliser proved to be just a step too far for the visitors.

Culina admitted he had been stunned by Griffiths' sending-off but refused to be drawn on whether he thought the red card had been justified.

"It's over and done with. It's disappointing because he was playing very, very well. We were on top at that stage and we certainly needed to have that 11th player on the park," he said.

"It's not ideal when one of your players gets sent off, particularly for (dissent). If he was going to get sent off, get sent off for a tackle, not for what you said to a referee. That's not ideal."

"But we've got to move on. That's behind us. We've got to find an alternative for the games against Melbourne and Sydney."