Magilton can't assure Kemp's future

Melbourne Victory coach Jim Magilton has refused to guarantee Matthew Kemp's future after the veteran angrily stormed down the tunnel when he was substituted before half-time in Saturday's 3-1 home loss to Newcastle Jets.

Melbourne Victory coach Jim Magilton has refused to guarantee Matthew Kemp's future after the veteran angrily stormed down the tunnel when he was substituted before half-time in Saturday's 3-1 home loss to Newcastle Jets.

The 31-year-old was playing just his seventh match of the 2011/12 season but with his team trailing by what would prove to be the final score and having been left behind several times as all three of the Jets' goals came via the right wing, Magilton replaced him four minutes before the break.

Magilton preferred to put the decision down to a desire to introduce Leigh Broxham before half-time to get used to the heavy conditions in the driving rain, and also referred to having done the same in January with Diogo Ferreira in Perth.

But while he condemned Kemp's reaction as 'totally unacceptable' after the veteran showed surprise at being taken off and then angrily gestured at his coach as he was leaving the pitch, Magilton said only 'who knows' when asked if Kemp had played his last game under the temporary boss.

Kemp's petulant reaction and the defeat were further compounded in the second half when Carlos Hernandez was twice booked for needless fouls on Sung-Hwan Byun, the second of them with eight minutes left.

But Magilton was reluctant to condemn the Costa Rican for his dismissal.

"Carlos is showing a desire to win the game (and) he got the ball," Magilton said.

"To me it wasn't a booking, (in those) conditions you've got to take that into consideration."

"There's no one going to be more upset than Carlos about that (getting sent off) but we're 3-1 down, we're chasing the game, he's just missed an opportunity to get us back into the game."

"So taking that into consideration I understand."

"Should he have shown restraint? Yes without any doubt."

Hernandez became the eighth Victory player sent off in 24 games this season, seven of them senior players, and stand-in skipper Harry Kewell put the lack of discipline down to frustration at a season that hasn't gone to plan.

But neither Magilton or Kewell was willing to concede the finals are beyond their team.

"I think it's just frustration," Kewell said of the red cards.

"Throughout the whole game again we do so much but we just don't finish teams."

"And like the manager said we've been here now for a whole and we're working hard in training, everything's falling together out there on the training pitch and then we come here and we let in three sloppy goals."

"And it's heartbreaking, but we've still got a chance, we're not going to give up."

"We're going to look at the game, we're going to take the bad bits out and hopefully correct them and look forward to the Sydney game."