Some Jets players 'don't want to win', claims Griffiths

Retired Newcastle champion-turned-administrator Joel Griffiths has lashed members of the A-League outfit who appear to not care about winning.

Joel Griffiths

Joel Griffiths was renowned during his playing days for the passion he displayed on the pitch. Source: Getty Images

Griffiths, who now holds a senior football department role at the club, believes the fifth-placed Jets are being held back by players going through the motions on the pitch.

"I look at reactions from the players when we do get a goal against us. I look at reactions more than their performances," Griffiths said.

"I want to see players who actually want to win, not just are happy to be out there.

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"And on the weekend I felt that there were a couple of players that were just happy to be out there, happy to just do enough when sometimes enough isn't enough.

"You've actually got to go the extra mile and want to win. (Midfielder) Wayne Brown and our captain Nigel (Boogaard) are perfect examples of that. They constantly want to win."

Griffiths, the A-League's top goal-scorer in the Jets' 2007-08 championship-winning campaign, suggested the club's injury-crisis has led to a lack of accountability among players this season.

He said strengthening of the squad through the recent returns of Boogaard, Daniel Mullen, Andrew Nabbout and Morten Nordstrand was boosting the squad's mindset.

"Now we've got a couple of wins and everyone's coming back, people are going into games knowing that they have got to perform week-in, week-out, otherwise we have good, quality players on the bench," Griffiths said.

"Everyone's accountable now."

On a two-game winning streak for the first time this season, the Jets will soon have a full complement at their disposal with Finnish striker Aleksandr Kokko set to be back for the Boxing Day clash with Wellington.

Griffiths also backed coach Mark Jones' recent declaration the side's underwhelming season was down to injuries.

"You take eight players out of Sydney FC or Brisbane Roar, and all of a sudden you'll have a team that will struggle," he said at the Jack Newton Classic in the NSW Hunter Valley.



"I'm not going to get carried away with the two wins, because we expect to win every game, but if we keep rolling along then we'll sneak up the table and could surprise.

"The important thing for us is make sure our youth system is better so we can rely on players when we do have a crisis."


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Published 21 December 2016 at 10:08am