Central Coast Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna has warned his team need to learn fast from their mistakes ahead of a huge six months for the A-League side.
The reigning minor premiers slipped to a 4-3 defeat to Queensland Roar on Saturday to put their finals hopes under threat, and McKinna said he was very unhappy with his side's defensive display.
"We're in the four at the moment and Wellington are the ones putting pressure on us and we know we can make it, but you can't be giving away goals like we did," said McKinna.
"We have a lot to play for in the next six months with the Asian Champions League and we need to solve little problems like that.
"You can't give away at least three of the goals we did."
McKinna admitted his side missed the presence in midfield of the recently departed Mile Jedinak, who completed a big-money move to Turkey last week, but said the Mariners needed to look forward not backwards.
"Mile did a great job for us defensively but he's gone now and we can't replace him, as you don't just pick players like him off the street ... you need to bide your time and deal with what you have got," he said.
"But we can't use his absence as an excuse, it wasn't the reason we lost."
Striker Matt Simon said he was more upset with his role in the Roar's second goal than happy with scoring twice for the Mariners, in an otherwise excellent performance from the young Socceroo.
"Their second goal was my fault, I should have done better (defensively) on the sideline and that has taken over the emotion of scoring two goals," he said.
"I am sure when I wake up tomorrow I will be happy with scoring two goals but the defeat is hard to take."