Five games without a win is a dire place for any club to find itself mid-season, but Canberra United head coach Vicki Linton still believes her side can beat any team in the A-League Women's competition.
United is looking to secure its first win of the season against Sydney FC on Saturday, following two draws and three losses so far.
Linton believed her side could beat any team in the competition with the momentum it was building.
"Regardless that we haven't won this year, I actually believe we can beat Sydney ... and I have the belief that we can beat any team in this league," she said.
"We've obviously got a couple of things to continue to work on, but there was some really good signs [against Adelaide United]. We did a lot of good things and at some point we just need something to go our way to help us get a win on the board."
MORE CANBERRA SPORT:
- 'Dream come true': 17-year-old goalkeeper signs for United
- COVID postponements a positive for Goriss suspension
- Canberra United loses another defender to COVID scare
- Roestbakken farewells injury-ridden year, starts 2022 on front foot
- 'Love will always win': Cavallo abuse shows it's time for A-Leagues pride round
United had 18 shots against Adelaide in last weekend's 3-1 loss, but could not convert its chances. Linton said this was one area that needed fine-tuning this weekend, alongside decision-making and composure.
"It's the quality of the players we have. And for whatever reason, we haven't seen that exhibit itself in its best capacity yet," she said of her belief.
"I think we have quality players and experience across those players that give me the belief that we can score goals and we haven't quite been doing that. So that's the belief I have that we've been doing a lot of good things and if we can tighten up, because it's errors that are costing us as the season goes on."
United striker Allira Toby echoed Linton's belief the side could walk away with three points at Jubilee Stadium.
She said she was yet to utilise her former club contacts on how Sydney were preparing for Saturday's bout, but reassured fans Canberra was ready.
"We are finally starting to jell and click to create chances. I guess now it's just missing actually hitting the back of the net. So we're hopefully going to do that this weekend and score a few, fingers crossed," she said.
"They are in fine form and they are scoring, and they're not leaking any goals, so they'll be hard to break down but I'm confident that if we actually come to play and we do what we did against Adelaide, obviously minus the score ... I think we've got a good chance of coming away with three points."
Sydney has lost two key strikers to the Matildas' pre-Asian Cup camp and United has lost two defenders, with Karly Roestbakken called into the camp and Emma Ilijoski sidelined after being deemed a close COVID contact.
Linton said dealing with COVID-19 over the past two seasons had been difficult and it took a toll, with the uncertainty and constant changes forcing players and staff to build resilience.
She said players were still developing and assured fans - despite the results so far this season - it would be a positive season one way or another.
"Maybe we're not meeting the fans' expectations, but I want to encourage the fans that every single player that's playing this year is getting better and developing and they will get a lot out of it," she said.
"There is a lot of benefit to the season, even though it's really difficult. [Young players] coming in, who have never been involved before at this level, are now getting exposure and they'll get some game time. It's really good for them.
"Because my coaching philosophy's about individual player development ... and if I look at all the players and where they're at and where they maybe were last year. They're definitely moving on in their career development, and so from a coach's point-of-view, and a club point-of-view, that's a pleasing thing."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: