History dictates the odds are already stacked against Sydney FC winning any silverware this A-League season - but star recruit Alessandro Del Piero says the club is on the right track.
No side in the competition's seven-year history has gone on to win a trophy after losing its first two games of the season.
Sydney FC finds itself in that invidious position despite providing some good entertainment for the 35,000-plus spectators who packed into Allianz Stadium for Saturday's 3-2 home loss to Newcastle Jets, having gone down 2-0 in a shocker against Wellington Phoenix a week earlier.
Sydney FC was spoken of as championship contender when Italian legend Del Piero joined its ranks to cap an extensive rebuilding for the slumping glamour club. It included the recruitment of no less than eight players including defender Fabio, midfielder Paul Reid and striker Kruno Lovrek.
Del Piero gave the expectant fans plenty to enthuse over, including a superbly-converted free-kick from 25 metres over the Newcastle wall, and later urged patience as the team was improving with time spent together.
"This is only the second match for us, not only for me but for a lot of guys," the 37-year-old former Juventus playmaker said.
"This is one of the most difficult things for us because we have to know each other, sometimes the training is not enough and that's why we believe we improved.
"We're not happy but we're going up a little bit.
"From last week I think we improved 50 per cent. Last week we lost by two, this week we lost by one, so that's good .... but we have a lot of work to do."
As with Sydney's opening game against Phoenix, Del Piero was the star act against the Jets with a supporting cast, many of whom found it difficult keeping up.
While Brett Emerton and Fabio were notably more prominent, setting up several sweeping attacks in the second half, the home team clearly missed injured Dutchman Pascal Bosschaart in the heart of defence.
Crook said the lack of cohesion was due to unfamiliarity.
"I'm sure Alessandro will tell you wherever you go, even when he first went to Juventus, people need to get to know you and your strengths and weaknesses, when you can pass and so on," he said.
""It's something that builds.
"It's been a difficult pre-season for us.
"Last week was the first week we got that 11 on the pitch and we've missed (the mark) the last couple of weeks but it's a progression.
"But as Alessandro says it's about building some combinations and they'll get there, I'm sure of it."
Wellington Phoenix's recruitment under coach Ernie Merrick began with the signing of 22-year-old former Perth Glory goalkeeper Lewis Italiano.