Marcus Babbel refuses to accept the flame is out on Western Sydney's A-League finals hopes even though the flicker is very faint.
The Wanderers' offered little in their 3-1 loss to the Wellington Phoenix on Sunday, a result that leaves them 11 points adrift of sixth-placed Adelaide United with just five rounds remaining.
A third successive premature end to the season looms for Babbel's men unless a host of other results go their way but the German couldn't be bothered extracting the calculator.
His only consideration was how to prevent another performance such as that which let the Phoenix boss the first spell and lead 3-0 after half an hour.
"I am not looking so far ahead (but) if we play like in the first half, we don't have to think about it," Babbel said of his capricious team, who had snared 10 points from their four previous matches.
"We have to come back to our way, where we were going, where we were tactically better, technically better, we had different body language.
"If we don't bring it on the pitch then every team can beat us."
Babbel said it was a tired performance in which their "disastrous" first-half passing gifted chances to the Phoenix, who have the quality to take them.
The absence of Keanu Baccus, Tass Mourdoukoutas and Abraham Majok - played a part in their disjointed display, Babbel said, again venting has anger that the trio had to prioritise an Olyroos training camp over their club contract.
He said Baccus was badly missed, labelling him one of the league's best central midfielders.
Babbel introduced German playmaker Alex Baumjohann midway through the first spell to try to stop the rot.
Baumjohann, one of the league's premier players through the first half of the season, has struggled to force a starting position.
Babbel said the arrival of Kwame Yeboah and Sunday's goalscorer Mitchell Duke had delivered him options at the attacking end.
"If someone is not in the best form, I can change," he said.