Perth Glory's finals hopes are hanging by a thread after posting just one win from their past 12 matches, with their mentality now under question.
Perth Glory coach Richard Garcia says the player group must become mentally tougher as he attempts to guide the team out of their crippling form slump.
Glory are now 11 points adrift of sixth spot after tallying just one win from their past 12 A-League matches.
Perth will have the chance to turn their fortunes around when they take on fellow strugglers Melbourne Victory at HBF Park on Sunday.
Garcia was critical of his team following their 3-1 loss to Melbourne City on Wednesday, saying the players were lacking when they had to step up and be brave during games.
The first-year coach is hoping for a reaction this Sunday and has put the onus on his players to lift.
"It's about them taking ownership of their mentality," Garcia said.
"At the moment when the mentality is being tested we're not standing up to it.
"It's a bit of confidence, it's a bit of form. I feel that when you're under fatigue and things don't go your way it sort of snowballs a little bit.
"Again it comes down to mentality, believing that you're then going to go out and score as a team. That's something we need to improve on. We need to have more belief in ourselves and each other.
"I feel that in elements we do have that belief. It's just how long we have that belief for within a game?"
Garcia also wants to see more from the team's leaders.
"That's what they're leaders for," Garcia said.
"I feel that if we want to continue to push forward not only in the back-end of the season but pushing on to next season ... we have to have those types of leaders in the squad.
"It's been a tough time and people tend to show their true colours when things are going against you. It's about us now trying to put things in place to go forward."
Wednesday night's clash was a lockout due to Perth's recent COVID-19 scares, but Glory will welcome back fans for Sunday's clash.
"It was quite eerie the other night without a crowd," Garcia said.
"The fans are why you play football, you play for the fans and the club."