Jets not sorry for defensive approach
Sydney FC failed to land a knockout punch on the pitch at Aussie Stadium, but didn't miss after Friday's 0-0 draw with NSW rivals Newcastle.
Blues defender Alvin Ceccoli claimed the Jets looked like they "came to lose" with their defence-minded tactics, while coach Pierre Littbarski attacked Newcastle for its "negative" approach - despite also defending his own strategy of using a lone striker.
Not that such comments would worry Newcastle coach Richard Money. Or his team.
After copping a 4-1 hiding from Central Coast last week, Money was unapologetic about his defence-first tactics against Sydney - which went so far as employing defender Steve Eagleton to shadow Sydney star Dwight Yorke's every movement in the first half.
And having gone unbeaten in three games against Sydney this season, the Jets and Money could be excused for having a moment to enjoy their success against their "big city" rivals.
"There's no denying a lot of our boys come from Sydney so its a big game for them," Money said.
"They are the big city club. But I'd like to think we would have got that performance against anybody after last week's performance."
Money admits his side was sluggish in returning after the three-week Christmas break.
The draw against Sydney was a big step forward, he said. And with the Jets having their final four games at home, Money said his team's finals' fate remained well in their hands.
"I think last weekend stung everybody," Money said of the Mariners' loss.
"Since we last won in Perth (in late November) there's been a lot that's happened at our club. We needed a result like this, and maybe a result like we did last weekend to get us back on track."
Ceccoli, who was one of Sydney's best on a frustrating night for the home side and 15,211-strong crowd, wasn't prepared to give Newcastle too much adulation for keeping a clean sheet against the league's most attacking unit.
"The whole team defended, I don't think it was just the defence that defended," Ceccoli said.
"Obviously that was their strategy. They looked like they just came to lose. But I guess they gained a point, so they should be happy with that. But I don't think they did anything outstanding or exceptional to comment about their defence."