Gold Coast United coach Mike Mulvey has spoken with pride of his young team's achievement after their 1-1 draw with the Jets but says they need to learn how to win.
Gold Coast United coach Mike Mulvey has spoken with pride of his young team's achievement after their 1-1 draw with the Newcastle Jets but says they need to learn how to win.
The Queensland side went into the match as underdogs with a virtual youth team but put in an heroic performance to protect a 24th-minute goal from Daniel Bowles until the last seconds of regular time when Jets defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley pinched a late equaliser.
While the draw is a very credible result for Mulvey's young brigade the outcome could have been an upset win had the Gold Coast taken all their chances.
"To be truthful we are disappointed that we have let in a goal in the last minute but in my view the game should have been well and truly over by then," a passionate Mulvey said.
"Two stonewall penalties, a chance in the first half to Daniel Bowles which would have made it 2-0, we had an opportunity in the second half when Chris Harold got himself in, so at the end of it we are disappointed and we are going to walk away from here with one point."
Mulvey said he was proud of his players, but now they need to take the next step and close out games.
"The signs are good from a team perspective but we have just got to learn to win. We need to close the game," he said.
"We gave a silly free-kick away, we didn't pick up properly on the free-kick and Topor-Stanley scored. We had plans in place to deal with that and I will look at the tape to see how that actually happened."
"But the point is football goes for 90 minutes, or 94 minutes in this case, and at the end of the day we are walking away with an excellent performance that should have been rewarded with three points."
"You have players who have won two National Youth leagues and while it is a different level, it is a winning mentality. I think the issue is; if you score more goals then you are not on the edge of your seat in the final two minutes and that is what we need to be better at."
"But still, good teams close out the game, but you have to put things into perspective - we have three senior players out there and eight kids."
"I have two kids back at home who didn't make the game today because they have picked up injuries due to playing against men for the last four or five weeks, so their intensity levels have increased. And that is the reality of this situation."
Mulvey said his side is determined to keep getting better each game and he is confident they will be looking for all three points against both the Glory and the Roar in their final two matches this season.
"We are a team that has troubled three of the top six teams in the last three weeks - the Mariners, Victory, who are pressing to get in the six, and Newcastle."
"We have done ourselves proud, but we still want to win a game. If I have a dressing room that is accepting that then I am not happy because I want to win too."
"We have stepped up from youth level with three young ones, now they need to step up to senior level and learn how to win a game."