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Jets coach frustrated by A-League send-off

Newcastle Jets coach Ernie Merrick believes his struggling side has been dudded by A-League officials this season.

Jets coach frustrated by A-League send-off

Newcastle Jets coach Ernie Merrick believes his struggling side has been dudded by A-League officials this season.

ERNIE MERRICK of the Jets during the A-League match between the Central Coast Mariners and the Newcastle Jets at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, Australia.
ERNIE MERRICK of the Jets during the A-League match between the Central Coast Mariners and the Newcastle Jets at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford, Australia. Picture:Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images

Newcastle coach Ernie Merrick has taken aim at A-League officials after a controversial send-off during the Jets' loss to Melbourne City.

The Jets were reduced to 10 men midway through the first half of Sunday evening's 2-1 defeat at AAMI Park when marquee player Ronald Vargas was given a second yellow card.


City midfielder Riley McGree converted from the penalty spot in the 25th minute when a Luke Brattan corner deflected off Vargas's arm.

The Venezuelan could hardly have escaped the line of fire and made his displeasure clear, telling referee Kurt Arms to "f*** off".

It was later indicated Vargas had been booked for dissent, despite the fact the card had already been brandished when he unleashed at the official.

The Jets had minutes earlier seen an appeal for handball inside their own penalty area dismissed.

"I haven't seen it on video yet but apparently he was yellow-carded for dissent," Merrick said wryly.

"Should I give an answer or say anything else?

"He was yellow-carded and sent off for saying something very, very naughty."

Asked whether Vargas had the right to feel aggrieved, Merrick was unequivocal.

"I certainly do," he said.

"We've had four penalties against. I think the referee's director, if that's what you call him, has come out and said two of them we didn't deserve.

"We've never received a penalty. We might have been able to get two or three today but we don't expect to get penalties anymore.

"We just have to defend them really."

Merrick also lashed out at his side's tough upcoming fixture which includes a return to AAMI Park next Saturday to face defending champions Melbourne Victory.

Just one of seventh-placed Newcastle's next five games will be played at McDonald Jones Stadium.

"How we can't play home and away every week, I'll never understand," he said.

"I say the same thing every year - I've only been saying it for 11 years though, I guess that's not very long - play home, play away. End of story.

"If the stadiums aren't available let's do what Sydney FC's done (and find an alternative). Let's do this and not be held to ransom."

AAP


AAP




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