Ex-Adelaide United midfielder Paul Reid could become a Melbourne Heart player as early as Thursday to help the A-League's third-placed team stave off the chasing pack.
The Heart were desperately unlucky to have their pockets picked by league leaders Central Coast Mariners 1-0 at AAMI Park on Wednesday night.
Despite dominating the match, the Heart could not find a way past teenage goalkeeper Mat Ryan and fell to an 89th minute Mariners sucker punch from substitute Adam Kwasnik.
Now the addition of creative and combative Reid, a star with the Reds before falling out with the club and previous coach Rini Coolen, is set to add much-needed steel to Heart's midfield as they seek to stop a run of four matches without a win.
Reid, 32, started training with the club on Tuesday as they attempt to find a way to add him to their squad - most likely as an injury replacement player.
He sat in the stands to watch the Heart lose to the Mariners, wearing an official club tie.
But regardless of when former Wollongong Wolves star Reid officially joins his new club, he won't be registered in time to play the Roar.
Heart coach John van' t Schip is urging his players to take one big positive out of the defeat - the fact they bossed the competition leaders for 85 minutes in all aspects.
And to further shake off any doom and gloom, the Heart are set to regain defender Simon Colosimo from injury as well as rested duo Mate Dugandzic and Eli Babalj for the home clash with second-placed Brisbane Roar on Saturday night.
The match has ramped up in intensity for both sides after the Heart's loss to Central Coast.
The Mariners are now nine points clear of the Roar, while Brisbane are just a win clear of the Heart.
For the coaching anorak that lurks in van 't Schip, the contrast between the Mariners' and Roar's styles is intriguing.
"The Mariners play a different kind of game to Brisbane. Brisbane want to dominate, they want to have ball possession, they want to play in the half of the opponent.
"Central Coast, they leave the ball to the opponent. When they have the ball, they can play, of course - they're more effective than Brisbane until now (this season).
"They're two kinds of systems and they're both very effective. It's interesting to see at the end of the season who can go as far as possible."