Newcastle Jets coach Ernie Merrick after the match.
Newcastle Jets coach Ernie Merrick after the match.

Merrick: What is the point of the VAR?

NEWCASTLE Jets coach Ernie Merrick attacked the video review system after seeing his side lose the grand final to a goal that should have been disallowed.

Slating Victory's style, Merrick he would prefer not to coach a team in their style, and lamented the way his team eventually lost.

"Once they got the goal, Victory set out to stop us playing and it was very stop start," said Merrick.. They packed the defence and played a lot of long balls in the second half. We controlled the game, just look at the stats - twice as many shots on goal.

"With the goal, it looked like three players were offside, in which case I wonder what the point of the VAR is. I'm still a fan of the video referee, but what's the point if they don't see that?

"The referee let far too much go. We were hoping for a free-flowing, entertaining game of football. If that's the way you win, I'd hope never to coach a team like that. I thought good football would win but it didn't.

"They got one chance on goal and took it. But we've made enormous ground this season. I told the boys after the game that they've won, in terms of what they've achieved, and we have most of the squad re-signed for next season."

Victory coach Kevin Muscat refused to respond to Merrick's jibes, and said he was unmoved by a historical fourth A-League title.

"My only feeling at the moment is the result - I don't get motivated by the past, it doesn't win matches," he said.

"But the amount of adversity and hurdles we've had to jump over is phenomenal and I don't think enough has been made of that because I don't like bringing up excuses.

"We've stared down the challenges one by one and got ourselves to a point where we started building belief. As the season drew to a close we were getting stronger and stronger.

"The ball spent so much time in the air; there was a lot of talk about attacking football but we stood tall. When Lawrence was called upon he was outstanding.

"It was strange, it felt different tonight away from our packed stadium. But winning a final away from home is sweet - we've got to enjoy the moment."



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