Wollongong Wolves coach Luke Wilkshire is confident his side will bounce back after Saturday night's loss to Rockdale.
The defeat was the Wolves first of the season, with an Alec Urosevski goal in the 31st minute proving the difference between the two teams.
Wilkshire conceded his team was out-enthused on the day, with Rockdale more desperate for the three points.
"It was a disappointing result, we just weren't quite at our best," Wilkshire said.
"It's hard to say why we weren't at our best. When we're coming off some of the teams we've beaten, everyone wants to be the first team to beat us. On the day Rockdale showed a bit more hunger and desire to get the three points."
Despite the loss, the Wolves remain in first place on the ladder with six wins, three draws and the one loss.
Wilkshire believes, however, that Saturday night's result was simply a blip on the radar and he's looking forward to seeing his side bounce back against Marconi next weekend.
"We have to bounce back. When you lose you learn and there's plenty we can learn from this. We'll pick ourselves up, we'll reflect and we'll go into the Marconi game looking to improve on that performance.
"We'll get back on the training field during the week and next week can't come quick enough for us."
Saturday night marked the first time the Wolves have failed to score this season, with the team struggling to create opportunities throughout the match.
Those struggles came about as a result of a determined Rockdale defence, the Suns desperate to hold on to their goal advantage. The Wolves, for their part, struggled to find their rhythm, with errors coming at inopportune times putting an end to a number of attacking raids.
Despite their struggles throughout the game, Wollongong did create a handful of late chances to snare the equaliser. Both Bul Juach and Stefan Dimoski came close to breaking the deadlock in the dying minutes, however it was not to be, with Rockdale holding on to claim the 1-0 victory.
Wilkshire identified James Stojcevski as among the team's best, with the midfielder providing a key link in the Wolves attempts to press forward.
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"James in the midfield was business as usual, he got my man of the match. He is the heart of our midfield, he's a very important cog in the team and was good again on Saturday."
For Wilkshire, Saturday night will be a key lesson for his players of what it's like to be the hunted each week.
"We could have come away with something, but we weren't at our best. We weren't at our best and we got punished for a couple of errors.
"We have a lot of ability in the squad, we're going to get that during the season, teams desperate to beat us. We're the team at the top to be shot at, so we have to make sure we turn up every week desperate for the three points and not get bullied out of the game.
"We'll definitely learn from this result. We've got a fantastic group of players who want to win, want to succeed.
"This hurts bad, we have such high expectations of ourselves, but I've got no doubt with this group of players, we'll go on and be stronger going forward."
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