Jets coach gives call to arms after loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jets coach gives call to arms after loss

By Philip Henderson 10/02/2008 10:55:34 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond urged his Jets to "stick together" after a heartbreaking loss to Central Coast in the A-League major semi-final landed a serious blow to the Jets' title ambitions.

Leading 2-0 after the first leg, Newcastle was in the box seat to seal a maiden grand final berth, but will instead have to quickly regroup for a preliminary final showdown with Queensland Roar at EnergyAustralia Stadium next Sunday after losing 3-0 and 3-2 on aggregate after extra time.

"It' s a difficult situation. Most people would say we've gone from having one foot in the grand final, to no feet in the grand final," said van Egmond.

"It's important that we stick together, that's the most important thing that we do.

"We'll debrief come Wednesday or Thursday, and we'll come again.

"We've got a place to play for now for the Asian Champions League. We've got a place to book ourselves in the grand final.

"We're playing at home, so think the boys have got everything to play for now."

Van Egmond said his young charges would learn form their performance after admitting they may have been overawed by the occasion of being in the box seat for the grand final.

"This has put them in good stead for games in next week and hopefully the week after, they got a good taste of what it's like," the coach said.

"I just think some of them may have felt it was a situation where they were a little bit nervous, a little bit intimidated. We all wanted to make sure we all played without any fear but that didn't transpire, not just with the young ones but with the older ones as well."

Captain Jade North was confident his side could regroup from the crushing loss.

"The worst thing to come out of this is we have another home game and still have a chance at getting into the grand final, so if that's the only positive thing I can take out of it, than so be it," he said.

Van Egmond said he had no regrets about making changes to his starting line-up with the more defensive Noel Spencer starting in place of Stuart Musialik, and young Korean Jin-Hyung Song making his A-League debut in the first XI.

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