John Aloisi knows his future as Melbourne Heart coach is likely to come under scrutiny if the team's results do not improve soon.
The Heart are yet to win after five rounds of the 2013-14 A-League season, with a match at home to Sydney FC on Friday the next challenge looming for Aloisi and his players.
Now in his second season in sole charge of the club, the former Socceroo has benefitted from Heart's comparatively low profile to escape the kind of pressure this week's visiting coach Frank Farina has found himself under at the helm of the Sky Blues.
But the 37-year-old is well aware that his turn in the firing line cannot be far away following such an inauspicious start to the new campaign.
"As a coach you're always going to be questioned on what you do ... all I can do is focus on preparing my team," Aloisi told reporters on Thursday.
"We're disappointed as a club that we're not winning more games. It's not about just me, it's about the players and making sure the club climbs the ladder.
"Losing is never an option. I hate losing, but it's part of the game. I can't think about losing. I can only think about making sure that we prepare well enough to win. No-one likes losing, believe me.
"We know that we need a win. We're disappointed that we haven't got a win yet. The performances have deserved more and deserved wins, so now it's making sure that we turn those performances into wins.
"That's what we've worked on this week. We've worked on being able to punish teams when we're on top of them."
Mitigating Heart's poor results is the absence of several key players, with centre-back Patrick Kisnorbo (knee) and captain Harry Kewell (ankle) set to stay on the sidelines for Friday's game at AAMI Park.
"The swelling's gone down quite a bit, so hopefully he (Kewell) can ... start training with the team next week," Aloisi said when asked for an update on the veteran playmaker.
"We have to see how he goes. If next week he trains a few times with us he might be available to play a part in the Newcastle game. If not, then hopefully the game after.
"Patrick Kisnorbo's coming along well. We were hoping that he might be available tomorrow but he won't be. He definitely should be available for the Newcastle game."
Aloisi also confirmed that promising youngster Nick Kalmar was in contention to start on Friday after impressing off the bench in a 1-0 loss to the Western Sydney Wanderers last week.
"There's a good opportunity that Nicky might play," he said.
"Nicky's had a disrupted pre-season, but he showed on the weekend when he came in that he's feeling good, he's feeling better. We'll make a decision on that today whether we start him or not."