Vignaroli the difference for Jets

Both Newcastle coach Branko Culina and North Queensland counterpart Ian Ferguson have praised the performance of Italian import Fabio Vignaroli in the Jets' 2-0 win over the Fury on Sunday.

Both Newcastle coach Branko Culina and North Queensland counterpart Ian Ferguson have praised the performance of Italian import Fabio Vignaroli in the Jets' 2-0 win over the Fury on Sunday.

Vignaroli, plus Newcastle skipper Matt Thompson and Korean import Jin-Hyung Song, dominated the midfield for the home side in the Round 14 Hyundai A-League fixture. The Newcastle trio starved the Fury attack of any decent ball and they launched a raft of forward raids that led to the Jets registering a crucial home victory.

"Vignaroli was the one causing us all the problems," Ferguson said after the match. "We tried to get Osama Malik on him but he was just too clever for him and it is a hard job to mark a marquee player - Vignaroli did well. He was the playmaker and was the one who was causing us the problems. He and Song were getting away from our midfield."

Culina agreed, indicating the Italian's absence was a significant factor in the Jets' midweek loss to Wellington.

"Fabio provides us with a lot of experience," Culina said. "He is a guy who has played at a very high level and in that holding midfield role he is very good - he can break up play and he can start the attack, so he is good value for us."

The Newcastle coach also underlined the importance of a fully fit Ljubo Milicevic to the Jets line-up.

"Ljubo in particular is such a key player for us not only for his physical presence and his ability on the ball but for his leadership qualities," said Culina.

"For the first time in many weeks there was someone talk at the back and it was Ljubo again being Ljubo. There was a period of time when Ljubo wasn't Ljubo - he was too quiet."

"At the start of the season he was too vocal and people didn't like that but I would rather have that Ljubo then the one we had for about four or five weeks when we really needed him."

Culina said his decision to boldly start with a 4-3-3 formation paid dividends with the Jets finding plenty of space through the midfield and continually threatening in attack via strikers Michael Bridges, Labinot Haliti and Sean Rooney.

"I watched the Fury and they like to go forward. Tadross likes to push forward and we thought if we started with three up front they will have to be concerned about is as well," said Culina.

"Sean Rooney also provided us with pace which we don't have in abundance and that was always going to be a tricky ball for them. It suited us to have three up front."

Ferguson conceded his side was well beaten describing the Jets as being 'hungrier' but he was most disappointed with his side's lacklustre performance.

"Newcastle was by far the better team over the 90 minutes and they deserved the victory. But I am just disappointed in the manner of how we played," he said. "On such a crucial game that could have put us into the top six but now we are staring at the bottom of the league, so it was a bad day at the office."

"The boys have done really well for us in the last 10 weeks we have only been beaten once in 10 games. But I am just disappointed in the manner we played today. Newcastle looked hungrier and they thoroughly deserved their points and if it hadn-t been for our keeper Paul Henderson the score could have been more."