Stubbins rues costly decision


Newcastle Jets coach Phil Stubbins has accused Melbourne Victory striker Besart Berisha of “looking for an opportunity” when the Albanian went down for the free kick that resulted in the winning goal on Saturday night.

Referee Ben Williams adjudged Berisha to have been fouled by Jets wing back James Virgili with Gui Finkler stepping up to score the resulting free kick – handing Newcastle a 1-0 loss to Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.

Stubbins was smarting by Williams’ decision, starting off with thinly-veiled criticism before elaborating further.

“I think in the way that we lost the game, and this is no disrespect to anyone, there is some decisions that have killed us to this point,” Stubbins said.

“I think if the referees were to see (the Berisha decision) again they might make a different decision.

“Credit to Besart (Berisha) there – he is obviously looking for an opportunity there and I think he saw it and took it.”

Newcastle picked up their first win last week against Adelaide United and Stubbins believes his side built on that performance with the disciplined effort against Melbourne Victory.

“We went there with a game plan, system that we bore fruit from the week before and we actually enhanced that performance of last week in this week’s performance,” he said.

“So credit to my boys and the effort they put in against a wonderful team.

“Melbourne (Victory) started off in the way we expected them to after losing in the manner they did last week against Melbourne City.

“I think we rode that in the first 15 minutes, we grew into the game and then certainly in the second half I felt there was some real parity at times.

With the Jets still languishing near the foot of the table, Stubbins outlined the club’s transfer plans when the January transfer window opens.

“We’ll be looking for a player or two – maybe supplying weapons to the front third is an area we can look at as well,” Stubbins said

“I think at the end of the day, 24 hours is a long time in football and names crop up all the time and we need to make sure we bring in the right players.”