Western Sydney coach Carl Robinson is desperate to settle on some winning combinations as the pressure increases on his out-of-sorts side to hold on to a top-six A-League position.
While the Wanderers have been camped in the top six for much of the season, Friday's 2-1 home loss to fellow finals aspirants Brisbane makes their situation more precarious.
Western Sydney are now clinging on to sixth, just two points ahead of the Roar, who have three games in hand.
Western United in eighth are five points behind, having played four fewer matches than the Wanderers. They will play twice more before Western Sydney next take the field.
Robinson's side haven't won in their last five games and, now two-thirds of the way into their campaign, the coach is still yet to settle on the best combinations of his talented squad.
"I'm trying to find the right mix and blend with my starting group, trying to find the right combinations up front," Robinson said.
"Its trying to find the right No.10 balance. Is it the right shape, is it not the right shape?
"Those are the questions that me and my staff have to look at."
The coach cited troubling issues at both ends of the field.
"The game is all about what you do in both boxes, not in-between, and unfortunately we've got a bit of a bad mix at the moment," Robinson said.
"We're inconsistent in our defending, clearances, little details in that and we're conceding goals, even on first shots.
"We are not taking our chances and the opposition are defending well, but we need to be more ruthless in the attacking side as well."
He accepts external criticism of the club is likely to build given he assembled a strong squad that was expected to end the Wanderers' three-year absence from the finals.
"One hundred per cent that's fair," Robinson said of the scrutiny, though he added he believes his side can still finish strongly.
"If we win enough games out of the last eight then we'll get to where we want to, if we don't we won't," he said.
He suggested the Wanderers would look to bolster their squad in the imminent transfer window.
"If we don't add to it no problems whatsoever, we've got enough good players in there," Robinson said.
'"The younger players are standing up admirably at the moment and I thought some of them today were exceptional."
He said there were some injury niggles out of Friday's match, but would only reveal one - a hip issue for dynamic young defender Tate Russell.