“It was a shame to fall a little bit short but all credit to the Victory, their three goals were brilliant," Zadkovich said.
The Newcastle Jets left AAMI Park on Friday night without a point after being defeated 3-2 by Melbourne Victory, but it wasn-t without a fight.
The Jets went into the half time break trailing 2-nil but a strong start to the second half and successive goals to Ruben Zadkovich and Emile Heskey, they were back in the game.
The Jets had all the momentum before the Victory's Marcos Rojas scored the match-winning goal a minute after the Jets equalised.
“To come back to 2-all, we thought we had the better of it in the second half and thought we could go on with it,” captain Ruben Zadkovich said.
“It was very frustrating to concede a goal straight after the equaliser, but that is the way it has been for us for a little while and I am just proud of the effort of the lads.
“Even in the first half, we went down 2-nil but I thought we still played some good football and in the second half, you could see the boys have big hearts and we kept putting in.
"We are just falling a little bit short defensively.”
Zadkovich was full of praise for his teammates, and also the opposition after an entertaining match at AAMI Park in front of a 21,054 vocal crowd.
“The attitude of the team is great, it is like that in training and it is like that in games, and as I said, they have big hearts and we are putting in,” he added.
“It was a shame to fall a little bit short but all credit to Melbourne Victory, their three goals were brilliant.
“Rojas is a great player and it is hard when he is scoring goals like that but in saying that, our defence hasn-t been great this year and we need to tighten up.
“If we keep believing in ourselves and playing with that heart, I think we will be playing finals."
Coach Gary van Egmond agreed with his captain; he too was pleased with the courage shown in the one goal defeat.
“Even in the first half, I thought we controlled large parts of the game but they just took their chances in front of goal," van Egmond said.
“I was pleased they got back into the game in the second half and very proud of the boys for their performance."
The Jets remain in Melbourne for Tuesday's New Year's Day Round 14 clash with the Heart.