Deans on Luka’s debut, Ramy’s injury and that penalty

Craig Deans

Newcastle Jets coach Craig Deans has backed his team’s gritty attitude as the driving factor behind their 1-1 draw against Western Sydney on Friday night.

Down 1-0 at the break, courtesy of a Bernie Ibini finish, Deans knew his troops had more to offer and challenged them to dig deeper in the final stanza.

“We always look at the stats in the game and we were on top in most of them,” Deans said.

“It wasn’t panic stations… I asked them to lift their effort. I said I think you have 20 percent more in you.”

The hosts looked in command of the contest with a one-goal advantage deep into the second half, until Wanderers substitute Patrick Ziegler conceded a penalty with a clumsy challenge on Luca Pršo.

Roy O’Donovan stepped up to the spot and made the Wanderers pay with an 81st-minute equaliser.

“Live to me, it looked like a penalty,” Deans said.

“We’d been on the wrong end of a few close calls… tonight its swings and round abouts and we got one.

“It’s nice for Roy to get one again and keep confident and in a positive frame of mind.”


Valentino Yuel was also in fine touch, creating plenty of opportunities and heaping the praise of his coach.

“He’s going to get better and better,” Deans said of Yuel.

“He learnt tonight about the ugly side of football.

“With the ball and in open space he’s fun to watch.

“He didn’t score a goal tonight, but he caused a lot of problems.”

Another talented youngster who impressed was Luka Pršo.

The 20-year-old made his Club debut via the bench and wasted little time making his presence known.

“He’s had five training sessions and two weeks in isolation,” Deans said of the Young Socceroo.

“He’s got some talent, confidence and energy and that’s something we needed at the time.”


The only sour note for the Jets was an injury to Ramy Najjarine.

The 20-year-old limped from the pitch after attracting some unwanted attention from the Wanderers defence.

“He’s been kicked… I think I heard someone say he’s the most fouled player in the competition,” Deans explained.

“He’s a dangerous player and people make every effort they can to stop him playing.

“He’s got a sore ankle.”