Newcastle Jets boss Mark Jones pointed to the level of individual quality as the difference in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Sydney FC at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The hosts managed only three shots to Sydney’s 21 as second-half goals from Milos Ninkovic and substitute Bernie Ibini consigned Newcastle to a fifth defeat in six matches.
“The formation, the tactics I think were okay,” Jones said.
“At key moments we turned the ball over when they didn’t turn it over. That’s extremely frustrating because that’s all we work on at training.
“But that comes down to quality. If the quality is not there then we need to find players with the quality to keep the ball in tight areas at this level.”
Jones does have some positives to draw on ahead of next week’s trip to Perth with several members of his injury-ravaged squad in line to return.
Morten Norstrand, Andrew Nabbout, Daniel Mullen and Lachlan Jackson could all come into contention as the Hunter side seeks to register its second win of the season.
“We don’t have the highest profile squad in the league and to go without those players has been difficult,” Jones said.
“We need firepower, we need to score goals.
“You saw what Sydney had run on from the bench. It’s just a little bit different in quality.”