Clayton Zane has called on his troops to stay positive as they look to stay within touching distance with the A-League's top six.
Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Clayton Zane has called on his troops to stay positive as they look to stay within touching distance of the Hyundai A-League-s top six following Saturday-s 2-0 loss to Sydney FC at Hunter Stadium.
With seven rounds remaining, the Jets sit in eighth place on the Hyundai A-League ladder, four points behind the sixth-placed Central Coast Mariners.
With four of the Jets remaining matches set to be played at Hunter Stadium, Zane was adamant his side-s finals hopes were well and truly alive.
“I think everyone knew the importance of the match today,” Zane said in his post-match press conference.
“Credit to Sydney, they take home the three points.
“We feel a little bit deflated in the dressing room now because it-s a game that I thought from a football perspective, we played some good stuff.
“I pulled a few of the senior players aside and stressed that we have to be optimistic.
“You can have a sulk tonight, go home and sleep on it. Tomorrow you have to have that spring in your step.
“To be fair the boys have done that since I have come into this role.
“There is a not a game in the back end of the season that I-m too worried about picking up three points in.”
Zane said he felt the Jets had been fairly comfortable and untroubled in defence until they conceded the opening goal from a set-piece in the 60th minute of the contest.
‘‘I thought the game was headed towards a nil-nil,” Zane said.
‘‘We talked about it at half-time. It was going to be one big moment from an individual that was going to turn the game on its head. You looked at the two teams when they line up and they definitely had more physical presence than us.
“It still hurts to concede that way. We-ve done a lot of work on set-pieces and we-ve done a lot better this season at defending them, but that was the turning point in the game.”
Zane said the Jets- needed to drastically improve their home form to give themselves the best possible chance of competing during the post-season.
“The fans have been terrific and it-s normal that sections of the fans and the community will lose a little bit of faith when we can almost feel the top six, but we-re still so far away.
“I certainly understand their frustration, but we need them on board if we-re going to rise to that challenge.”
“We-ve got four games left at Hunter Stadium and we need four clean sheets at home and I back the players to be able to find the goals in those four matches.”