Phil Stubbins says it was Sydney FC’s superior quality that allowed them edge out his Newcastle Jets 1-0 on Friday night, hinting if Marc Janko was on his side the result would have been different.
It was Janko’s second half goal which proved the difference in an even contest at Hunter Stadium.
Stubbins was left to lament some wasteful finishing from his troops which cost them what would have been just a second win of the season.
“We created some good opportunities openings but we just fell a little bit short,” the Jets boss said.
“That’s what good players do. Sydney’s got an abundance of quality and that results in the product you see at the end of the day.
“We gave everything. The boys out there gave it everything they’ve got. It was a shame in the manner we lost the game in the goal we gave away but there was certainly some parity in that contest.
“The first half we played some very good football and we’re growing. That’s very evident and if people can’t see that we’re moving in the right way then they are watching a different game.”
The victory for Sydney FC was their fifth in the last six games and Stubbins admitted he’s impressed with their squad and playing style under Graham Arnold.
He sees the Sky Blues as a benchmark his club can try and emulate as they look to rebuild next season after what’s been a tumultuous 2014/15 campaign so far.
“We recognize we need to get a team and squad that’s got some parity and can match that team [Sydney FC] over the course of 27 games in the A-League,” Stubbins said.
“We fell short this year, we’ve had some changes but I think this time next year it will be a different story for the Newcastle Jets.”
“Our players deserve credit for having a go in the game and in the right way.
“Mitch Cooper got another 80 minutes under his belt. [Brandon] Lundy came on for his debut, these are kids that are going out there and representing the shirt now and are doing it in the right way.
“If we can keep them on track and moving forward as the rest of the team is in our efforts to improve as a football team we’ll be okay.”
Stubbins knows the club need to strengthen their squad for next season, with players in the ilk of Janko sure to be on the radar as they look to solve their goal-scoring woes.
Reminded Janko was off-contract at the end of the season, Stubbins said: “If you’ve got his phone number and someone wants to give him a ring please do so.
“If we had him [tonight] would it have made a difference?
“He’s providing a service for Sydney FC and he’s the leading scorer in the competition…I think Sydney will have a say before they let him go.”
The Jets head to Melbourne next weekend to face finals-chasing Melbourne City at AAMI Park.