Steve Ugarkovic keeps the faith in finals dreams with Newcastle

HEAD UP: Steve Ugarkovic, pictured in action against Perth Glory, has been one of the Jets' most consistent performers this A-League season. Picture: Getty Images

HEAD UP: Steve Ugarkovic, pictured in action against Perth Glory, has been one of the Jets' most consistent performers this A-League season. Picture: Getty Images

STEVE Ugarkovic grew up watching the A-League finals and wanting one day to be part of it.

And while the chances of it happening this year with Newcastle are fading after a 4-0 loss to Melbourne City, Ugarkovic hasn’t given up.

“Obviously we missed our opportunity on the weekend but these next games are big games and we need to win, and there’s no excuses anymore,” Ugarkovic said. “It’s all on us now. We have four games left and if we win all four, we’ll put ourselves in the mix to make the top six and I think we can do it.”

Newcastle, six points outside the top six, play Wellington away on Sunday ahead of hosting sixth-placed Western Sydney. Wellington will be missing seven players to international duty, giving the Jets a better chance of keeping their season alive.

“We drew [2-2] with them here, but I definitely think we deserved to win that game,” he said. “We had a lot of chances and played well, and I think having those five or six players out for them will be harder, but we’re not focused on that.”

“We’re just focused on our game to get the three points.”

Andrew Nabbout missed a one-on-one chance for Newcastle early in the loss to City on Saturday night in Melbourne.

Ugarkovic said the Jets needed to improve in the front third

“I think we just need to take our chances,” Ugarkovic said.

“We had that good chance early and if we put that away, it’s a different ball game.

“We just need to stay solid at the back, but more so take our chances because we’re creating them.”

The 22-year-old midfielder said “it would be disappointing in the end if we didn’t make the finals”.

“I’m a young player and I’ve grown up watching the A-League finals series and it’s a different kind of football,” he said.

“The best team on the day wins it, and if we were to make it with a good run towards the end, I would love to make the top six.”