COOLING HIS HEELS: Andrew Hoole makes his way to the bench after being replaced in the 3-0 loss to Wanderers. AN apologetic Andrew Hoole admitted his reaction to being replaced against Wanderers was poor and has vowed to finish the season strongly.
Hoole was involved in a heated exchange with assistant coach Clayton Zane after the winger was takenfrom the field midway through the second half of the 3-0 loss to Wanderers on Saturday night.
“I regret the way I reacted,” Hoole told the Newcastle Herald. “I wanted to stay out there and help the team find a way back into the game and was disappointed at being replaced. The way I acted is not the culture within the playing group. I understand it was the coach’s decision to make a strategic change. I just want to help us pick up six points in the final two games. There is still plenty to play for.”
Coach Mark Jones was glad to put the incident to bed but stopped short of guaranteeing Hoole a place in the starting side against Central Coast in Gosford on Sunday.
“I wasn’t happy with his reaction,” Jones said.“It is not a major thing. He has been good all yearand he had a moment there.Ihave spoken to him and it will be sorted through the week and we move on.”
Asked if Hoole would play against the Mariners, Jones said:“I will pick what I believe is the best 11 as I do every week.”
Jones said the incident, which was caught by TV cameras, had been overblown.
“Incidents happen,” he said.“That is the least of our problems.We have to go out and play well against the Mariners and hopefully get a result.That is where we are at next.”
The Jets, sixth after 19 rounds, face a showdown with their arch enemies for the wooden spoon.
Disappointed at a seventh straight year without finals football, some fans have called for Jones and chief executive Lawrie McKinna to besacked and questioned the commitment of owner Martin Lee.Although“understanding the fans frustration”,McKinna remained confident they could turn the club’s fortunes around.
“We go back to the Brisbane game,” he said.“We win that,we are in the top six and destiny is in our own hands. We were leading 1-0 inthe 31stminute then we have a send off and lose 3-1.We have had a bad run since then. We had it in our grasp and have let it slip.The squad was what it was this year. We are going to have an opportunity to change it.”
McKinna spoke at length with Lee on Sunday morning and said the owner was very supportive.
“He understands the situation,he understands we have to rebuild the squad andhe is willing to invest money in the squad,” McKinna said.