Macarthur coach Ante Milicic wants to see more consistency from the Bulls ahead of their A-League derby with Sydney FC on Sunday.
Macarthur coach Ante Milicic always anticipated building cohesion in a new A-League club would be difficult but how long it will take remains a mystery.
The Bulls were riding high after back-to-back-wins and their first home victory in Campbelltown before being thumped 4-1 by Western United in Ballarat last week.
It was a sudden return to earth for the league's newcomers, who are still trying to find consistency with a new playing roster and coaching staff.
The uncertainty of the draw has added another layer of difficulty for the entire competition, but for Milicic and the Bulls, it's a hurdle to uniting the new squad on the field.
"We try to train and have an individualised program for everyone, but at the same time we knew it would take a while for us to execute our playing style and be a little bit more consistent for longer periods in the game," he said ahead of Sunday's derby with Sydney FC.
"We're doing ok, but we know there's a lot more improvement in us.
"We're a new club, 23 new players and coaching staff so we expected it to take time and we're hoping the longer that we're together we can get a little bit more consistent in the way we play.
"This is what we expected, but it's a matter of how long it will take to come together. That's what we don't know.
"You see teams now that have the same coaching staff and the same group of players, everyone understands their roles a lot better and that's what we're still building."
Under Milicic the Bulls have had an encouraging start to the season, sitting third on the ladder with 14 points from nine games.
However, a win against Sydney FC at Netstrata Stadium on Sunday would not only put the Bulls back on track but avenge a 3-0 loss to the Sky Blues from a month ago.
"It would massive, and we've got full respect for the champions," Milicic said.
"They've been together for a few years now and played a similar brand of football with the same coaching staff, so we understand it's going to be a difficult game for us.
"After the negative result we got last week in Ballarat, there's no better opponent for us to play than the champions to really show where we're at, so it's going to be a good indicator for us."
The league champions are coming off a loss of their own, going down 3-2 to Melbourne City in the grand final rematch on Tuesday night.
STATS THAT MATTER
*The Sky Blues have won just two of their last seven A-League games at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, but won the previous 13-straight.
*Macarthur have scored the opening goal in five matches this season, the most of any A-League side.
*The Bulls have lost only one of five games in NSW - but it was a 3-0 loss to Sydney FC last month.