GVE slams Jets 'worst' display

GARY van Egmond slammed his Newcastle Jets side for producing what he considered to be one of their worst performances of the season so far on Friday, but claimed there was no added shame being the team to hand Melbourne Heart their long-awaited victory.

The Jets took the lead somewhat against the run of play through Taylor Regan at AAMI Park, but conceded twice to be 2-1 down at half-time, and proved unable to mount a revival in the second period.

Addressing the media after the game, Van Egmond rejected suggestions the absence of four first-team regulars away on Australia Under-22 duty had cost his team, instead pointing the finger of blame at the players who were given a chance and failed to step up in their colleagues' absence.

"I thought it was arguably our worst (performance of the season)," he said.

"(A) good reality check.

"At the end of the day you're not going to achieve much without a squad. It provides an opportunity for players to step up and take that chance.

"We gave away cheap possession. We couldn't execute the pass or keeping the ball under pressure ... just the fundamentals. It was extremely poor from that point of view.

"We knew that, probably, we went 1-0 up under false pretences from a set-piece. We had to get better. We even spoke about that when we did score the goal but unfortunately that didn't happen."

When it was put to Van Egmond that his players would be feeling embarrassed about being the first team to lose to Heart since February 2013, he said: "No, no. Not at all.

"I think Heart have probably been a little bit unlucky for a number of games this year. It's more so a case that what we have to do is worry about ourselves first and foremost."

Van Egmond confirmed that Ben Kantarovski, who was substituted in the second half, was taken off as a pre-caution after tweaking his knee.

And the Jets coach refused to confirm or deny if Newcastle were planning more transfer activity after bringing in Joel Griffiths, saying only: "You'll have to speak to the club about that."