Last season's Premier Plate winners Perth Glory find themselves pulled into an unwanted top-six dogfight after a run of indifferent A-League results.
Tony Popovic says Perth Glory need to quickly reverse their inconsistent run of form with last season's A-League grand finalists suddenly finding themselves in danger of missing the A-League finals series.
The Glory crashed to a stunning 4-0 defeat to second-from-bottom Melbourne Victory on Saturday - their heaviest loss of the campaign.
Should Adelaide United defeat Melbourne City on Tuesday, Glory will need at least a point from their final match of their regular season campaign on Wednesday against in-form Western United to guarantee their top-six status.
Perth's most recent outing was a confident 3-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers in a strong showing which came just days after a hefty defeat against Adelaide United
"We have to recover from this and move on quickly and put in a much better performance against Western United who are playing well," Glory coach Popovic said.
"We have to do what we did after Adelaide. We backed up against the Wanderers and we are going to have to do it again.
"We have to change our inconsistencies since we have been in the hub."
Victory were clinical in front of goal with strikes in each half from Marco Rojas, sandwiched either side of an Andrew Nabbout penalty, with Elvis Kamsoba adding to the pain with an injury-time goal.
Oddly, the Glory dominated possession, yet were unable to genuinely test Victory goalkeeper Matt Acton throughout the entire contest.
"The tempo of our game wasn't quick enough when we had the ball," Popovic said.
"We probably held onto the ball a little too long and didn't support the strikers enough to give them a chance to get into their structures.
"We really didn't recover mentally in the second half (after conceding the second goal) and that is something we will have to look at and address quickly, and get it right in the next game."
Perth have lost three of their five matches since the season restart and, unusually for a Popovic-coached side, they have conceded 12 goals in that period.
The Glory have lost four of their five defenders that took the field in last season's grand final, as well Socceroos attacker Chris Ikonomidis to injury, while three of their imports have exited the club.
The Glory, like all interstate teams, have been based in NSW for the past month.
"The hub situation is very different to during the season, and I think we weren't having a bad season prior to the hub," Popovic said.
"Things have changed in this period, but I won't talk about the issues, because every club has different issues with players and other things."