Newcastle Jets captain Jobe Wheelhouse says it will take time for his A-League side to get used to playing with star signing Emile Heskey.
The former England international made his A-League debut in Sunday's 2-0 loss to Adelaide United.
The 34-year-old showed glimpses of his class and is expected to improve as he continues to build match fitness.
But tough midfielder Wheelhouse said it would also take time for the team to adjust its playing style to suit the big striker.
"We have never had a target man and played too many balls direct in the time that I have been here," Wheelhouse said.
"We all know how well he holds the ball up and how good a player he is.
"He has probably changed our game plan a little bit.
"It is a work in progress and it is going to take time but we will get better at it."
Pressed on his own performance against the Reds, Wheelhouse revealed he did not have an ideal build-up to the game.
"I was a little bit crook a few days before the game and I found it quite hard with the weather being 35 degrees," Wheelhouse said.
"I think myself and a lot of the boys can definitely improve on our first-up performance and ... Sydney (at Allianz Stadium on Saturday) is a good way to start."
A capacity crowd is expected for the clash, which will pit Heskey against star Sky Blues recruit Alessandro Del Piero.
"Not too many people have seen players of that calibre against each other in the A-League so I think it is going to be a great crowd down there, close to a sell-out," Wheelhouse said.
"If we can get anywhere near that then it will be great for the A-League and a big buzz for us."
Wheelhouse has happy memories of Allianz Stadium, including the club's grand final triumph in season three and a 5-2 victory against Sydney last season.
"If we can get a result like that then that will be great but I think we need to concentrate on the way we are playing at the moment," Wheelhouse said.
"Obviously we want to win and that will come if we can start implementing the way the whole pre-season went and the results will come."
Time supposedly heals all wounds, but one month on from the A-League grand final and Western Sydney captain Michael Beauchamp is still hurting.