Having started the season with back-to-back losses, Sydney FC is feeling the heat as it prepares for this weekend's first A-League Sydney derby.
The Sky Blues lost 3-2 in their blockbuster clash with Newcastle Jets in front of a record regular-season crowd of more than 35,000 at Allianz Stadium on Saturday after opening with a 2-0 loss to Wellington Phoenix the week before.
This weekend, Sydney faces A-League newcomer Western Sydney Wanderers and coach Ian Crook says the squad is feeling the pressure.
"You don't want to keep losing games - that's not what we're in it for, so there's pressure every single game," Crook said.
"Just having the name Sydney FC puts pressure on to win so it's something that everyone is really aware of now."
While Saturday's clash was billed as the battle between Alessandro del Piero and former England striker Emile Heskey, this match will also feature a marquee match-up when the Italian legend faces the Wanderers' Japanese star Shinji Ono.
And Crook, who was Sydney's assistant coach in the league's inaugural season in 2005, said he was delighted to be involved in another first for the club.
"You only get one first," he said.
"I was here for Sydney's first ever game in the A-League and now this is the first ever Sydney derby and you won't get that twice. It should be a cracker."
While Brett Emerton and Fabio were notably more prominent in Saturday's match, setting up several sweeping attacks in the second half, Sydney clearly missed injured Dutchman Pascal Bosschaart in the heart of its defence.
Bosschaart, who tore his Achilles tendon in March, is working his way back to fitness having played 30 minutes in Sydney's youth team game, but is still up to two weeks away from being fully fit.
Adding to Crook's headache in defence is Adam Griffith's absence, after the centre-back suffered a hamstring injury on Saturday night.
Crook is left with only Trent McLenehan and Sebastian Ryall, who has made just two starts for Sydney in the past 18 months.
"Pascal's not game ready yet so we haven't got a huge amount of options," Crook said.
"I'd like to think he's a week or two away."
Jason Culina, meanwhile, is still a way from making his comeback after more than 18 months out of the game with a knee injury.
In-demand Mat Ryan has opted for Belgian powerhouse Club Brugge over Denmark's Randers as he heads to Europe to embark on the next stage of his burgeoning career.