The Newcastle Jets continued their road trip in Melbourne against the high flying Melbourne City, their first home fixture since that fateful night two weeks ago.
Craig Deans has apologised to Newcastle Jets fans after his side’s lacklustre showing in a crushing 4-1 home defeat against high-flying Adelaide United.
Third-placed Adelaide were a class above a flat-looking Jets outfit on Sunday and the margin of victory could have been far greater after they raced to a 4-0 halftime lead at a wet McDonald Jones Stadium.
On the scoresheet were Kusini Yengi, Stefan Mauk, Ben Halloran and Craig Goodwin against his former side, before Apo Stamatelopoulos netted a 69th-minute consolation for the Jets.
A modest crowd turned up at the tail-end of a wild weekend of weather in the Hunter region but were provided with little reward as the Jets slipped to a fourth loss in succession.
“I think we can start the press conference and apologise from myself and the players on the first-half performance for the people that came out in the weather – and then to dish that up,” said Deans.
“There is nothing positive to say about the first half at all, we were our own worst enemy.
“We weren’t prepared to do the hard work in the first half, we weren’t prepared to do the dirty work in weather like that.”
Deans took only modest solace from his side’s improved second-half showing when the sting had gone out of the contest.
“It is easy to play when you are four-nil down in some respects,” he said.
“I think the challenge at halftime was whether we had the pride to do something in the second half and the reaction was good.”
The Jets hope to welcome back inspirational midfielder Jason Hoffman next week, at least to the bench, while key defender Ben Kantarovski is also close to a recall.
“We need to be a bit more humble with our football. We take way too many risks at inappropriate times,” Deans said.
“They are professional footballers, they know what the requirements are, what the work rate and disciplines are, and we are not disciplined enough often enough.”
In contrast, it was another radiant performance from Adelaide who continue to play with a rare confidence.
Sunday’s win was their fifth in succession and their best streak since their championship-winning season in 2016.
Another goal for breakthrough star Yengi was also a highlight, after the 22-year-old followed up last week’s debut goal with a confident strike after just five minutes.
Bizarrely, though, Yengi received a yellow card in the second-half for a comically exaggerated tumble and roll after he had been fouled.
It ended a wild week for Yengi who received some racial abuse on social media after his goal at Melbourne Victory and subsequent demonstrative celebration.
“He is young and does things on the spur of the moment, but he just has to keep his feet on the ground and keep working hard,” said Adelaide coach Carl Veart.
“When he works hard and is direct, he is very hard to stop.
“We don’t want to take his confidence or creativity out of him but he has to stay grounded.”