Victory coach Kevin Muscat. Photo: Getty Images
As a player, Kevin Muscat might have been fiery - a byword for toughness and, at times, cynicism.
But he exudes a calmness that might surprise many in his new guise of coach, especially when dealing with the media after a disappointing result.
And for Muscat, who took over at Melbourne Victory some six weeks ago following Ange Postecoglou's elevation to the Socceroos' coaching position, there have been a few more disappointing results than might have been expected.
Victory has played six times under his leadership and taken just seven points from a possible 18. It has lost three games, won two and drawn one.
It has been unlucky: it deserved to get something out of its match against Western Sydney Wanderers, when it lost 1-0, and Muscat and his staff are still shaking their heads trying to understand how they didn't beat Central Coast in round eight rather than draw 0-0 in Gosford.
But the reality is that its only two wins have come against Wellington and Adelaide, two of the bottom three clubs: Adelaide has won only one game, and Wellington none.
Under Muscat, Victory has played four games against opposition in the top six, and taken only one point.
To his credit, Muscat has been a cool, analytical and, most refreshingly, honest figure in the immediate post-match debriefs.
He hasn't tried to gild the lily: when his side has lacked concentration (as it did late in the game against a 10-man Wellington), he has said so.
When it made a couple of silly mistakes (as in the bizarre 3-2 loss to a 10-man Sydney), he has admitted the shortcomings.
On Sunday night, he was honest to a fault, describing his side as listless and lacking in the sort of vibrancy needed to compete at A-League level after Newcastle had pulled off a surprise 2-1 win at AAMI Park.
There is not much wrong with Victory. It always looks good going forward, and in Mitch Nichols has an important and creative playmaker who can become a fulcrum for the team.
James Troisi does some nice things and has been a regular goalscorer, but watching him there is always the feeling that he could dominate games more given his talent.
Kosta Barbarouses is a good player who makes smart runs and blends in well with the rest of Victory's attacking options.
And Archie Thompson will, if he has got over the hamstring problem that ruled him out on Sunday, be back for the match against Perth on Friday night in which Muscat and his team will look to bounce back.
Leigh Broxham might fare better back in midfield, but Muscat would then have to choose between him and the youngster Rashid Mahazi, who has done little wrong since breaking into the first team.
Pablo Contreras is a big money signing and, unusually for a marquee player, is a centre-back. To be frank he has rarely looked like the sort of player who has enjoyed such a distinguished career in Europe and Chile.
Muscat is very careful not to criticise the South American. It is also, it must be admitted, early in his A-League career.
There is every indication, from his limited tenure, that despite a few adverse results Muscat will get things right. This is his time, he is now 40 and has served a good apprenticeship: he will stamp his personality on Victory and it will be a similar, yet different side to the one fashioned by Postecoglou.
A win over Perth Glory on Friday night will make things look different.