THE Newcastle Jets' hopes of featuring in the A-League finals may be shot, but wholehearted utility Jason Hoffman maintains the battling A-League club has not given up on a strong finish to the season.
The Jets went down 2-0 to Western United at AAMI Park on Monday night to stretch their run without a win to 10 games.
The defeat left the Jets nailed to the bottom of the table on 13 points, a point behind Melbourne Victory, who have played two fewer games.
With sevens games remaining, mathematically Newcastle could still catch six-placed Western United (27 points).
"For me, there is plenty to play for," Hoffman said. "There are enough matches to restore some pride in the club, first and foremost.
"No-one likes to be in this situation. The only way to get out of it is be upbeat and keep morale high. We do have a good team, we do have good individual players. We just need to build a bit of confidence.
"There are moments in every game where you have to stand up and be a winner. That is the burning desire to play at this level. I can assure you that our team has that."
Next for the Jets are red-hot league leaders Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Thursday.
The short turnaround is welcomed by Hoffman.
"Most footballers will tell you that if something doesn't go right and you have a negative result, the first thing you want to do is play again," the 235-game veteran said. "In a game you are losing, you don't want the full-time whistle to go.
"This is the same feeling. You just want to get on to the next match straight away."
The Jets accounted for City 1-0 in their previous encounter at McDonald Jones Stadium in February.
"We played them at home and had a good result," Hoffman said. "Any team in this league is beatable.
"They haven't changed the way they play since our last game. Of course, they have a recent history of a good run of results. We seem to match up really well against them.
"We know where we can hurt them. They do have a style where they can be vulnerable in wide areas. I believe we can really hurt them in transition.
"We need to do the little things right, defensively be more accountable and I believe we can really hurt them."
The Jets again had to chase the game on Monday night after giving up an own-goal in the 12th minute.
It was the 10th time this season that have gone behind early.
"The first 15 minutes is certainly an area we need to improve on," Hoffman said. "There are plenty of facets we need to improve, but we have to look at things we do well as well. Rather than focus on the things that went wrong, we need to draw on the positives and put bigger patches of those together."
Hoffman sparked the Jets off the bench in his return from a groin issue and forced two good saves from Western United keeper Ryan Scott.
With Roy O'Donovan suspended due to yellow card accumulation, Hoffman is expected to start against City.
"City are my old club so there is more than enough motivation to try and stick it to them," Hoffman said. "I have missed too much football this season through injury."
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