Mateo Poljak says Newcastle Jets made it too easy for Perth Glory, punished for a lack of discipline in their 6-1 trouncing on Sunday.
Despite racing out of the blocks and taking an early lead, the Jets quickly ran out of steam and were crushed by a ruthless Glory at Hunter Stadium.
“We opened the game really well, scored early and I think they were there for the taking,” Poljak told ABC Radio.
“It’s down to us, a real lack of responsibility, lack of discipline and they punished us for that.
“We knew this was our chance to get closer to the top six against a team that’s right under us. From that perspective we’re really disappointed.”
The Jets have a shocking record against Glory, now winless in the last 12 games between the two clubs.
But it looked like that would change early on as Milos Trifunovic put the home side in front with an excellent header inside 14 minutes.
“We were controlling the game, even before the goal there was a couple of times we really opened them up and things we were working on in training, worked well,” Poljak said.
“I don’t know why we didn’t continue doing that, we dropped off and gave them so much time on the ball.
“For them it was too easy.”
Newcastle’s cause wasn’t helped by a silly red card to skipper Nigel Boogaard right on the stroke of half-time.
Having just gone behind to Diego Castro’s goal, Boogaard – already on a yellow card - foolishly lunged into a challenge on Josh Risdon but missed the ball, giving referee Shaun Evans little choice but to send him for an early shower.
“It’s always hard to play with one man down, especially when it’s the skipper who gives that stability to our team,” Poljak said.
“It was hard but I wouldn’t say that’s the crucial thing why we lost 6-1.
“It was poor discipline and the tempo and intensity wasn’t good enough. We need to show in the next games who we are.”
And that starts with a tricky trip to Adelaide to face the in-form Reds next Sunday.