Melbourne Victory captain Ola Toivonen says he's confident his side have turned the corner despite a mounting injury toll, ahead of Saturday's A-League clash with Western United.
Victory recorded their first win of the season against Brisbane Roar but Andrew Nabbout (hamstring) joined Robbie Kruse and Tim Hoogland on the injury list.
Toivonen said players such as of Kenny Athiu, Elvis Kamsoba and teenager Brandon Lauton needed to take their opportunities.
"We're struggling a little bit when it comes to injuries but it's good for the younger boys. It's time for the younger boys to step up," Toivonen said.
Victory will face United competitively for the first time - with both sides on four points - and Toivonen backed his pacy teammates to exploit their opponent's older legs.
"If we play the same game we did in Brisbane I think we will be alright," he said.
"It's an experienced team we're going to play against but with experience and age also comes - I think our teammates are a little bit faster than the opposition so I hope we can use that."
Victory took just one point from their first two games - and lost to Western Sydney Wanderers - before their win over Roar .
"I think we really came together as a group and really stood up for each other in 95 minutes and that was the biggest difference to the Wanderers game," Toivonen said.
The Victory skipper emphasised the need for patience as his team settled under coach Marco Kurz.
"You're getting a new coach, you get a lot of new players in and of course it will take time," he said.
"We just need to find a level everyone is comfortable with and to try to keep that level for a couple of weeks and when we dip, we cannot dip too deep."
Meanwhile, United's Besart Berisha said his team had regrouped after a loss to a 10-man Melbourne City.
"We are very disappointed with the way the game ended up, especially when we were one man up. We should have tried to win this game and we did not," he said.
"We want to bounce back (and) focus on Victory, its a very important game for us early in the season."
Former Victory striker Berisha was unsure whether he would celebrate if he scored against his old club.
"It's going to be very emotional for me, probably the most emotional game in my career so far," he said.
"But I have a job to do, and the way I work and go about this game, I want to win every game. We will try to do this on Saturday."