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Newcastle coach Culina backs Milicevic

Newcastle Jets coach Branko Culina believes key defender Ljubo Milicevic can be one of the best players in Australia.

The 28-year old has been with the Jets since February following stints with Melbourne Victory, Young Boys, FC Thun and FC Basel (the latter 3 in Switzerland).

Despite some minor off-field indiscretions in the past, Culina has faith that Milicevic can regain his brilliant past form with the Jets.

"How good Ljubo becomes is entirely up to Ljubo," Culina said.

"I'm certainly there to help him and assist him and try and get the best out of him, but he is an outstanding player.

"All I'll say is that when Ljubo is focused and playing football, very few players in Australia can match him.

"The challenge for Ljubo is to focus on playing and not to get himself involved in [off-field] events that may prevent him from showing what he's capable of. When he's focused, as he showed during the Asian Champions League and as he did last weekend, I wouldn't swap him for any other defender in the country."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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