Warners Bay coach Craig Atkins wants to see the same desire and urgency showed from his charges last outing when they play an understrength Charlestown Azzurri in NewcastleHerald Women's Premier League on Saturday.
The two sides are set to trade blows at Lisle Carr Oval and, although the competition is only reaching round five of a 21-round season, Atkins knows the result could prove crucial as they continue to press their top-four claims.
The fourth-placed Panthers improved to six points with an important 1-0 win over Maitland, who are fifth with three, last weekend while sixth-placed Azzurri (three points) are coming off back-to-back losses to unbeaten leaders Broadmeadow (12) and third-placed Adamstown (seven).
"You've got Magic who are obviously undefeated and Olympic who are not too far behind, so you look at these sort of games and know that if you can get the win then it does put you in good stead," Atkins said.
"There's still a long, long way to go but it does give you a bit of breathing space."
Warners Bay sustained a mountain of attacking pressure from newcomers Maitland in the opening stages of last Sunday's clash before finishing on top.
"The biggest thing from that game last weekend was the fight," Atkins said.
"As soon as we turned the ball over we were so desperate to get it back. That's something we spoke about before the game and the girls executed that really well.
"The first 15, 20 minutes against Azzurri is going to be really important because we need to be starting fast. We're a bit slow out of the blocks, so we need to make sure we're out of the blocks that desperate again and are wanting that game early.
"Consistency is definitely the key and if we can do that, I still believe we've got a whole heap of improvement in us in many areas. We just need to keep chipping away at these things, but we've got to keep that thing before we identify and work on the other things so we can have that whole package."
Atkins said his side were carrying a few niggles from the Maitland clash but expected to have everyone available while opposing coach Michael Lee was facing another round where he was scraping together a first-grade side.
Defenders Mischa Ball, May Bailey and Shani Vazey are all out as well as striker Lori Depczynski, versatile Ellie Withers and winger Jess Gentle.
"These can be the most dangerous games," Atkins said. "If they've got a number of players out then those people that are coming in are wanting a spot, so they're going to be fighting really hard to try to impress the coach to say they want to keep playing first grade.
"So we have to be 100 per cent switched on for this one. I think the midfield will have a big role in this one. If we can control through the middle and move that ball effectively like we did on the weekend, I think that will be key."
Adamstown and Broadmeadow play at Lake Macquarie Regional Football Facility on Saturday night.
New Lambton coach Maddy Searl felt the trip to Taree on Sunday to play Mid Coast was a chance to secure their first points of the season.
Both are coming off comprehensive defeats. The last-placed Eagles lost 7-0 to Magic and seventh-placed Mid Coast (one point), were beaten 6-0 by Newcastle Olympic.
"The likes of Magic and Olympic are class teams, so I think we know now what the benchmark is," Searl said.
"We know we competed with Olympic in that first half, so we know if we can compete with them we should be able to compete with everyone else in the competition."
Jemma House scored a hat-trick and set up another as Olympic beat Maitland 4-0 at Cooks Square Park on Friday night.
Olympic took a 1-0 lead into the break after House slipped the ball through Maitland's two centre-backs in the 38th minute for Laura Hall to run onto and slot past Magpies goalkeeper Imogene Tomasone. House then added goals in the 62nd, 65th and 82nd minutes.