Striker Roy O'Donovan can see another Central Coast Mariners win on the horizon but has implored his A-League side to cork their chronically loose defence.
O'Donovan can see marked improvements as the Mariners gradually adjust to the philosophy of new coach Paul Okon, evidenced by a strong first half against the Newcastle Jets last weekend.
Yet the Gosford-based side have retained their tendency for silly errors as they hunt for a second win this campaign -- and a first clean sheet since April 2015.
O'Donovan was perplexed by elements of the club's off-season recruitment prior to Tony Walmsley's sacking, namely the decision to sign just one experienced defender in Jacques Faty after conceding 70 goals on their way to last season's wooden spoon.
"We're still making the same mistakes by and large as last season as a team," O'Donovan said.
"Defensively, we tend to give away goals pretty easily every week -- we haven't kept a clean sheet in a long time.
"That's a really big problem, something that wasn't dealt with last year at the end of the season with the signings that were made.
"We conceded 70 goals last year yet we only signed Jacques Faty as a defensive replacement.
"Jacques is a good player, but one player doesn't make a defence.
"That, for me, was very strange.
"But we've had new coaches come in and they've changed things around defensively to make [the whole team] more of a solid unit.
"But at this moment in time, it's still not perfect."
The Mariners will be short in central defence against Perth Glory on Thursday night, with Liam Rose suspended and both Faty and Jacob Poscoliero injured, meaning captain Nick Montgomery could be shifted back.
In attack, Connor Pain, Fabio Ferreira and Blake Powell have pace to burn and O'Donovan described the front third as "the last piece of the puzzle."
"In the final pass, the final cross, we haven't been as fluent as we can be," he said.
"We're only seven games in but hopefully it clicks sooner rather than later and some team gets a real taste of what we're all about.
"The other side of the coin is we're seven games in and we've only had one home game.
"I'm not going to count Canberra [2-0 loss to Wellington Phoenix] as a home game because it never felt like one.
"Six away games and six points -- it's not a bad starting point."