Culina lays blame on Kennedy for lost points

JETS coach Branko Culina said after yesterday's defeat that goalkeeping inexperience had cost his side nine points this season, but he reiterated his commitment to custodian Ben Kennedy.

Kennedy again came under the spotlight yesterday when he shifted part-way off his line then was caught out of position by Archie Thompson's lob for Melbourne's equaliser.

Then with Melbourne leading 2-1 Carlos Hernandez found space after a poor Jets throw-in on halfway, and Kennedy was tentative off his line and was nutmegged by the Costa Rican.

In the past month Kennedy has also given away penalties against Sydney and Perth, both times when rushing out one-on-one with opposing strikers.

He now seems caught in two minds about when to leave his line.

Without being prompted, Culina asked reporters not to make too much of Kennedy's performance, then proceeded to blame him for the club's lowly position on the ladder.

"It's not a matter of going to a milk bar or supermarket and giving him two or three years' experience, but three games we've lost because of goalkeeping errors that's nine points," the coach said.

"Nine points where we are and we would be sitting [in fourth spot] on top of the table that's the difference.

"Ben's progressing, but he's getting caught in situations where his decision-making in this stage of his career is not the right one, and we've probably paid the price."

The Jets gave Kennedy a two-year contract extension this week.

"He's a young goalkeeper, he's learning," Culina said.

"Now the club made a decision at the start of the year that we would go with Ben Kennedy.

"You can now leave him out, destroy him and forget about him and bring someone else in or you could accept what's being dished out.

"And at the moment we have to do that because we haven't got anyone better, that's one thing."