AAP Soccer

Jets coach prefers ref mistakes over VAR

By AAP Newswire

Newcastle Jets interim coach Craig Deans would prefer referees' making mistakes than using the VAR, after a controversial review in his side's loss to Melbourne City.

With Newcastle trailing 1-0 in the second half on Saturday night, Jets captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley was in an aerial duel with Harrison Delbridge, with the City defender heading the ball into Topor-Stanley's arm.

Referee Kate Jacewicz didn't immediately award a penalty but a VAR review changed her decision, with Jamie Maclaren scoring the spot-kick.

Deans is frustrated with both the VAR and the new interpretation of the handball rule.

"Do I think it's a penalty? No - I'm not a fan of VAR to be honest, I think everyone makes mistakes," Deans said after his side's 2-0 loss.

"If a referee makes a mistake then we have to live with it - players make mistakes, coaches make mistakes.

"We can't go back and change them so I don't know why we want to do that with referees but people have made their decision and we have to live with it.

As for the penalty call itself, Dean wasn't sure it was possible for a player to jump for a header without using their arms for leverage.

"If you've played the game and you try and attempt to win a header and someone else is trying to do it, you generally have your eyes closed, you generally have your arms in the air and I don't know how he can change that in the game," he said.

"The rule used to be that you needed to make a deliberate play at the ball and I thought that was a good rule."

Meanwhile, Welsh coach Carl Robinson, tipped as the frontrunner for the Newcastle coaching role, was in attendance alongside Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna.

"All I know is that he's obviously in conversations with the club and Lawrie and he's been around since Friday," Deans said.

"I haven't really had the chance to talk to him because we've been training and travelling and playing.

"So not sure where the situation is at - it's probably his first chance to see the team live and make his own thoughts on what he sees and if he's got the job, I couldn't tell you, but I suppose we'll find out next week at some stage."