Newcastle Jets coach Branko Culina has labelled young goalkeeper Ben Kennedy a ‘work in progress’.
The 22-year old shot-stopper has been evergreen in the Jets line-up this season despite making some crucial errors along the way and was almost pulled out of the team ahead of yesterday’s clash with Adelaide United.
But Kennedy’s performance in the 1-1 draw vindicated Culina’s decision to keep him in as he made some important saves, none more important than the penalty save from a Travis Dodd spot-kick.
"It was a tough call during the week. There were a lot of people calling for his head because of his two mistakes in the previous two weeks," Culina said of Kennedy who was only beaten by a stunning Cassio volley.
"But you've got to back it up, we've got some players who are really a work in progress and Ben Kennedy is one of those.
"You have a responsibility as a coach to get results of course but you've got a responsibility to the players to make sure you help them develop as players and human beings and you don't want to destroy them because they've had one or two bad games.
"The easiest thing for me would've been to drop players over the last few weeks but that's not me."
The Jets ended a three-match beaten to grab a point against the Reds at Hindmarsh Stadium after hitting the lead in the 6th minute through Jin-Hyung Song only to see Brazilian winger Cassio equalise with less than 15 minutes remaining with a brilliant volley.