Central Coast Mariners determined to capitalise on fast starts
If only they gave out points for scoring first, Central Coast would be top of the A-League and not languishing near the foot of the table.
In three matches so far, Paul Okon's side have had the jump on their opponents.
The Mariners were 1-0 up against Newcastle in round one.
They went ahead 1-0 and also 2-1 a week later against Western Sydney.
Last Sunday, Okon's side again burst out of the blocks to shock Perth at nib Stadium.
Wout Brama found a first goal for his new club and, if Spanish signing Asdrubal had completed a routine tap-in for the Mariners, they might have been home.
But just as they did in round one, Central Coast turned a lead into a loss.
A 2-2 draw with the Wanderers is their only point earned this season, placing them ninth on the ladder.
Brama said the conundrum was frustrating.
"It's three games in a row that we are leading ... and in the end, we're losing points," he said.
"Three games, nine goals against, that's too many chances.
"As a team, we need to defend well and better."
The Dutchman, who was close to best afield against the Glory, said there was no lack of belief in Gosford.
"We have to stick to our game plan. We know we can play football really good and, in moments, we're showing it," he said.
"But if we're [conceding] goals like this, it's hard to win games."
The Mariners on Sunday host Melbourne Victory -- who also have one point from three games -- giving one club the chance to win a first match of the season.
Inspired by Daniel De Silva, Central Coast defeated Victory 2-0 last month in a preseason friendly.
Brama said that wouldn't provide a confidence boost.
"Preseason is never the same as competition," he said. "It will be a hard game. They're a quality team with a lot of quality up top.
"They haven't collected as many points as they expected -- the same as us. We're both looking for a first win. Hopefully, we're looking harder."