Central Coast captain John Hutchinson has praised his side's positive response after two draws to open the A-League season which had the reigning title-holders off to a slow start.
Speaking after their 1-0 triumph over Adelaide at Gosford's Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday, Hutchinson said coach Graham Arnold was furious during and after the side's 2-2 draw with Melbourne Heart in round two.
Veteran Hutchinson feels the title-holders' fluency in attack is still lacking but lauded their central defensive pairing of youngsters Trent Sainsbury, 21, and Zac Anderson, 22.
The home side's first clean sheet of the season came as they wasted a host of chances at the other end of the park after a second-minute goal from Nick Fitzgerald, which proved to be the winner.
"I thought we needed a reaction from last week," Hutchison said.
"I know the boss wasn't very happy, at half-time or full-time, even though we got a point in the end.
"He wasn't happy with our effort or our desire, our work-rate.
"That hurt a few boys in the change room, including myself."
Having a week to mull on Arnold's thoughts had the desired affect according to Hutchinson, who said there is still room for improvement.
"(Michael) McGlinchey, (Marcos) Flores and Fitzgerald were fantastic in the pockets. We need to starting finding them," he said.
"Anderson and Sainsbury tonight were magnificent, they stood tall," said Hutchinson of the defensive duo.
"Obviously we didn't control possession, but they had a lot of possession in front of us which isn't going to hurt us."
Following a first defeat of the season, Adelaide coach Josep Gombau asked for patience from his team's fans as the side adapts to his possession-based style.
"Day by day we are more comfortable with the ball," the former Barcelona youth coach said.
"When the club came to speak to my they wanted to create this style, we want to play an open style and every player in the club knows this, even the youth team.
"But we need time, we need time to work a lot.
"Now we are in this process (which isn't easy) we need to be patient.
"The (loss) can make the fans, or the people that don't understand what we want to do, say that we didn't play well or we don't create chances … but as a coach I am satisfied."