PORT Saints have some work to do in defence in coming weeks as they aim to stem the flow of goals.
For the second time in as many weeks, Saints leaked four goals in a comprehensive 4-0 hammering at the hands of Macleay Valley Rangers.
It came after a 4-2 opening-round loss to Taree Wildcats.
Coach Rubens Camejo will go searching for answers this week as he aims to fix their defence before next weekend’s FFA Cup match against Kempsey Saints.
“We just weren’t at the races on Saturday,” he said.
The coach conceded there were many factors that contributed to his side’s poor showing, but he also admitted his side expected to be better.
“Yesterday was a wake-up call to a lot of people in the squad,” he said.
“You have to commit to being competitive and I think most are committing, but then you have weddings, school functions and work and you can’t have everybody there.
“It’s the pain of playing football at this level.”
While concerned about their leaky defence, Camejo admitted Rangers will be up towards the top of the ladder at the end of the season.
“MVR are the one team I hadn’t seen and it’s going to take a tremendously good team to beat them,” he said.
“They are fast, they are accurate and their shooting range is very good.
“They shoot from inside and outside the box, they have power and they’re physically strong.”
The Saints coach said his Kempsey counterparts were at a different level to his own side on Saturday.
“They play intelligent football and something to my mind approaches NPL level in the way they play,” he said.
“I come from Sydney and there aren’t too many sides that would shame this MVR team.”
While disappointed in the performance, Camejo remained upbeat that his side had the potential to be up alongside Rangers at the business end.
Between now and then he said they had to work hard.
“I have faith this team will make the semis and once you’re there you never know,” he said.
“I have no doubt about that because there is too much quality in the squad not to do that.
“They realise they’re a good side, it’s just a question of putting the work in at this point.”
The Saints coach, however, wasn’t getting too carried away with two heavy losses to open the season.
“That’s what sport is; it’s a mirror of life,” he said.
“You have an accident in your car, you write your car off and go and get another one.
“You need to appreciate we were beaten by a much better team and to get to that level you need to do a fair amount of work, which we will do.”