Moss defends decision to hold back Hutchinson

Phil Moss said opting for attacking players off the bench was the reason why club stalwart John Hutchinson missed out on playing in his final F3 derby after Saturday's 0-0 draw in Newcastle.

Hutchinson was named on the bench and was expected to play some part in the clash. But Moss told reporters after the game it was for tactical reasons he left the retiring Hutchinson – who will hang up his boots at season’s end - to cool his heels on the pine.

Result: Newcastle Jets 0 Central Coast Mariners 0

“You always wrestle with trying not to be emotional about these decsisions, and I would’ve loved to have given ‘Hutch’ some game time tonight, but obviously the game was in the balance and I brought on three attacking players to try to seize that big moment," Moss told reporters after the game. 

“I’ve had a quiet word with Hutch and he’s all about the team not himself and he took the decision on the chin.”

Fabio Ferreira continued his fine form with the Central Coast having a ding-dong battle with Jets left back Lee Ki-je.

And Moss saw a big future for the former Adelaide United right sided attacker. 

“He’s a big part of what we want to do. That’s Fabio’s first 90 minutes this season. 

"And he’s only 70-80% of what he’s capable of when we get him fully fit for next season. He’s certainly added to what we want to do.”

But Moss bemoaned an overall lack of cutting edge in the final third though he was happy with his defenders’ contribution this week.

“I’m delighted with the clean sheet after shipping four goals last week [against Sydney FC losing 4-2]. That was one of our focuses this week though it certainly wasn’t the focus.”  

Moss suggested the heat and humidity as a reason for the lack of derby intensity after a war of words between the teams in the lead up. 

“It probably affected both teams. And the grass was quite long which took the pace out of the game” he said.

As for the big talking point, the Mariners boss gave his approval for goal-line technology after an inconclusive effort from the Jets saw the ball bounce down off the bar onto the goal-line before it was scrambled away.

“In this day and age with technology I just don’t understand why we don’t use it," he said.