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Guts, but no glory for Jets

Soccer

Newcastle Jets coach Scott Miller remains confident his team can still secure a finals berth, saying he foresees some struggles for the clubs currently sitting in the top six.

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The Jets are now five points adrift of sixth spot following last night’s 2-0 loss to Perth Glory at nib Stadium.

With just five rounds remaining, Newcastle face an uphill battle to win a finals berth, especially with tough games against title contenders Western Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne Victory, and Glory to come in that time.

But Miller was defiant when asked about the challenge confronting his outfit.

“They’ll turn the corner from here. This is just another step back. We’ve endured worse throughout the season,” Miller said.

“It’s not deflating whatsoever, because we’ve got five more fixtures, and I’m foreseeing teams above us – including Perth – [will] struggle… people have written [us] off all year, written me off, and it’s a great motivator.”

If the Jets are to get back into the finals mix, they’ll need to bank maximum points against Western Sydney at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.

But they’ll be without suspended defender Daniel Mullen, who was sent off in the 58th minute against Perth for a second bookable offence.

The Jets will also need to assess the fitness of midfielder Leonardo Santiago, who looked sore when he was subbed off in the second half against Perth.

Newcastle struggled to create many clear-cut chances against Glory, and were lucky not to concede even more goals.

Andy Keogh’s 37th-minute header opened the scoring, and the Jets were 2-0 down when Gyorgy Sandor scored in the 46th minute.

Miller was livid when the Jets were robbed of a penalty in the 89th minute after the linesman over-ruled referee Chris Beath, who had pointed to the spot when Jets striker Morten Nordstrand was brought down in the box.

“The strange thing is this – the central referee gives a decision, and it’s over-ruled,” Miller said.

“Let’s move on. I can’t change it. Next.”

Glory leapfrogged Sydney FC into sixth spot, and will start as hot favourites against last-placed Central Coast in Perth on Saturday night.

-AAP

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