Van Egmond proud of Jets' effort

Gary van Egmond says he was proud of the effort shown by his players, despite Saturday night’s 1-0 loss to Western Sydney.

Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets head coach Gary van Egmond said he was proud of the effort shown by his players, despite Saturday night-s 1-0 loss to Western Sydney Wanderers at Hunter Stadium.

Van Egmond was pleased with the way the Jets battled hard throughout the contest, but said his side had just lacked the finishing touch.

“They gave their heart and soul and they really tried as much as they could,” van Egmond explained.

“We probably lacked the right decision or pass or the right touch in the final third at times.

“I thought we started off very well in terms of controlling the game, but we just didn-t really make so many clear-cut chances and you have to against this team.

“They-re a very resolute team and unfortunately we paid the price.”

Van Egmond said the Jets had missed the impact of Nathan Burns and Emile Heskey in the front third, both of whom missed the fixture with minor knee complaints.

“Of course it makes an impact, missing both Nathan and Emile, it makes a big impact,” van Egmond said.

“You don-t replace them with other players within your squad because they-re marquee players.

“It was a tough one, but I thought the players who got put in those positions did really, really well.

“We-ve erred on the side of caution with both Emile and Nathan and hopefully they will be fine for Brisbane on Friday and games after.”

Mark Bridge-s header for the Wanderers in the 33rd minute proved to be the difference between the two sides, but van Egmond believed the goal should have been disallowed for a foul by Labinot Haliti on Jacob Pepper in the build-up.

“From my perspective and even from the players- perspective I thought it was a foul,” van Egmond said.

“It was even to a point where the boys didn-t continue because it looked like such an obvious foul.

“You-re going backwards and you-re looking to jump, but you can-t because you have two hands in your back - I think the referee made a mistake.”

Van Egmond said it was disappointing not to reward the Jets- biggest home crowd of the season of 16,634 by picking up all three points.

“It-s very disappointing, because the last thing you want to do is lose at home,” van Egmond said.

“I thought our supporters were unbelievable. They really got behind the team and the turnout was fantastic.

“We know that the Wanderers bring a lot of spectators as well, but it was a really good atmosphere and it was very disappointing that we lost at home.”

Despite the result, van Egmond said he still believed the Jets are heading in the right direction.

“From an effort perspective and having a real go, I think we were excellent,” he said.

“We still need to get better from a quality perspective and make sure we get better with decisions, and positioning and taking chances.

“I think as a squad, if we look at how far we-ve come from last season when we played our last game here against the Wanderers and were beaten 3-0 fairly comprehensively, I think been big improvements and I think we-ve played some excellent football in patches.”