Despite Melbourne Victory's horror start to the season, coach Marco Kurz says he believes his A-League side can still turn things around.
The traditional powerhouse have recorded just nine points from their opening 10 games and had to scrap out a 0-0 draw at home on Saturday against Wellington.
Victory were outclassed for most of the game and accrued seven yellow cards and one straight red - with Kristijan Dobras sent off - in a frustrating performance.
"It's a hard challenge for us. It's a hard challenge for the players, for me, for the club, but we have to work hard to find the turnaround, to stay positive," Kurz said.
"Positive means not to be happy with the result, (but) to be very self-critical and to make it step-by-step better.
"I think that's at the moment a really hard challenge for all of us, for the whole Victory family, but we still believe that we can find the turnaround."
Victory struggled to dominate possession and were conservative on the ball against Wellington - something Kurz said demonstrated their lack of confidence.
"What we can't expect from the players is to push a button and to play well," he said.
"The only thing that you can do is stay positive together - that's really important.
"Not to show others, look to you (and think) 'what can I do better?' And then improve during the week and show it in the game.
"That's the only way I think we can find the turnaround."
After a difficult start, pressure is building on the club and their coach.
Kurz said he wasn't the person to speak to about his own future but emphasised his desire and willingness to work to turn things around.
Next Saturday's derby against Melbourne City looms as a statement game.
"What I can say is that we believe," Kurz said.
"We will work hard during the week to be ready for the derby. We know it's a big game - it's not only three points.
"With a good result, we can fight back in a good way and that's our clear goal - and we are hungry for the game."
Kurz said patience was needed with Robbie Kruse and Adama Traore, who were both still recovering fitness after injuries.
Tim Hoogland is set to return from a quad injury for the derby but Thomas Deng (groin) looks unlikely to feature.
Australian Associated Press