Mindy Barbieri acknowledges the Newcastle Jets were down but definitely not out after a soul-crushing 2-1 loss to Western Sydney in Bathurst on Friday night.
The skilful forward, who is eyeing her 100th A-League appearance in Maitland on Saturday, has played in championship-winning sides before and believes the Jets are finals contenders.
It is just a matter of consistency.
Newcastle outplayed the Wanderers for most of the first half, taking a 1-0 lead early through Libby Copus-Brown (14th minute) before Sophie Harding struck on the counter-attack two minutes before half-time.
An unmarked Vicky Bruce (79th minute) scored way too easily in the second phase of a free kick, catapulting Western Sydney to 23 points, three clear of Newcastle in eighth, and into in a three-way tussle for fourth place with six rounds remaining.
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"It was a really tough loss," Barbieri told the Newcastle Herald.
"We felt that we definitely did enough to win, but ... the first thing that we said when we were in a circle after was, 'It's not over'. We've got six games left and they're going to be crucial."
The Jets remain only three points adrift of the top six as they turn their focus to Brisbane, who were on 17 points before taking on Western United (26) on Sunday night.
The round-17 fixture will be the first of back-to-back games at Maitland Sportsground for the Jets and a milestone moment for Barbieri should she take the field.
The Melburnian debuted in the then W-League with Melbourne Victory as a 15-year-old in 2015.
At 23, Barbieri, who had planned to take a break from football this campaign before signing last minute with the Jets, feels "privileged" to have 100 games in her sights.
It is no mean feat when you consider not that long ago a season only comprised 12 rounds.
The competition has finally expanded to a full home-and-away format across 22 rounds for this instalment.
Other changes since her first game include the introduction of a collective bargaining agreement with a minimum wage, which is now $26,000, and crowd support has swelled.
"Back in 2015, I was lucky to have 10 people in the crowd, and that was probably just my family, whereas now we go to Bathurst and we've got almost four thousand people, and that's incredible to see," Barbieri said.
"It definitely makes me appreciate how far not only the league has come but myself as well and other people who started at similar times because it does take a lot for us to be able to continue to stay through adversity.
"Now, it's fantastic to continue to see the league grow, and it's only going to continue to grow."
Barbieri, who is also studying psychology, has established herself as a regular starter in a Jets side that is producing a high-tempo and entertaining brand of football.
"From the start of the season to now I've started to feel personally more comfortable," she said.
"I started off a bit rusty and, coming in a bit late, that was something that I knew was potentially going to happen.
"I've been probably up and down, but I'm starting to find my feet towards the back end."
She is certain the Jets are too, with "redemption" clearly the focus this week.
"We're taking a lot of positives out of the game," Barbieri said.
"We felt we were on top for quite a while [against Wanderers] ... and, going into the game against Brisbane, we want to be able to redeem ourselves.
"It's a really important round for us to be able to step back onto the right foot and continue to be in finals contention because we still have the same goals as the start of the season, and that was to get into the finals and to win the whole thing.
"It's never smooth sailing ... [but] from the start of the season, our game has definitely evolved."