Sitting on another tight loss will sting as Gold Coast tries to enjoy an AFL bye but coach Stuart Dew insists there's enough to smile about amid a nine-game slide.
The Suns led until the last 11 minutes against St Kilda in Townsville but eventually coughed up a 31-point lead - just as they did against the Saints last season - to continue their winless streak.
They also lost in the dying seconds to Melbourne by one point and started the season with a one-point loss to St Kilda, while all three of their wins this season have been by five or fewer points.
Blow-outs against Adelaide, Brisbane and GWS have hurt their percentage but Dew is urging fans to look beyond the black and white of results as he crafts his new-look list.
"We want the next win ... it's going to sit there for a bit now (that loss), now that we've got the bye," he said.
"But the whole mood and environment is really positive.
"We're looking for consistency of effort and by and large we've done that, at times we've been outclassed and that happens.
"Hopefully supporters can see we've put in a mountain of work ... it's not going to happen in 13 weeks, put it that way."
The return of Callum Ah Chee from injury, consistency of Will Brodie and emergence of 18-year-old forward Ben King were positives to take out of Townsville.
A more streamlined Sam Day also played his first AFL game of the season and proved he could be of some use to Dew in the back end of the season.
Draftee King kicked two goals in the first half before running out of steam after the main break.
"We're seeing massive, massive improvement from Ben," the coach said.
"It's his first year playing regular footy against men and he presented a really good target and is hitting the scoreboard as well."
Australian Associated Press