Western Sydney coach Markus Babbel admits being surprised by some of the reaction to his public criticism of his underperforming playing group this season.
So for the first time this summer, he brought it up with his players last week.
"What they think [about] why I criticised them in public. The reaction [from the] media was strange, or they couldn't understand why I'm doing this," Babbel said.
"So I said [to the players]: 'What do you think? I want to see your reaction exactly because at the moment I'm not happy how the reaction looks like.'
"Then we start to talk."
And the result was a scrappy 2-0 win, albeit over the last-placed Mariners, to end a club-record winless run of 10 straight matches.
Babbel said it was one of a number of "talks" the former Germany defender had with his team, where he urged them not to throw the towel on their campaign.
"I was asking them why they think why I'm doing this, because to criticise something is very easy. I can criticise everything," Babbel said.
"But if I do this, you can believe I think about something. I said I want to see a reaction. We can't give up a season now."
The win lifted the Wanderers back above Brisbane into eighth spot, and puts them seven points clear of the last-placed Mariners with nine games to go.
However after finally breaking through for a victory, Babbel stressed the importance of making the most of their uptick in confidence.
"This is for me very important, to see a team on the pitch who don't give up, because you never know in football," he said.
"In many games I'm honest to the players, to [the media] luck wasn't on our side. We had many good games, we were leading, couldn't win this game, lost a game.
"Of course it's not easy for their heads to stay positive and keep going."
The only downside for the Wanderers was a groin injury to Kwame Yeboah, who was forced from the field in the first half.