IN THE yesteryear, the players would have looked across the paddock and their body language would have required no interpretation.
It's fair to say Waitakere United and Auckland City have had that sort of effect on many other underdogs visiting their turf to express similar emotions.
No more, at least for the Chris Greatholder-coached Kinetic Electrical Hawke's Bay United. That was then and this is now.
With their dream season ending last Sunday with a 4-0 away drubbing at the hands of Canterbury United, the Bill
Robertson-captained side are soldiering on with the attitude of getting on with a life after the bubble burst.
``We'd like to get something back from the game,'' Greatholder said before the 2.30pm kick off at Fred Taylor Park,
Auckland, tomorrow in the ASB Premiership match.
``We wouldn't have said that in previous seasons. We would have just gone with the attitude of coming away with a 3 or 4-nil loss rather than gettingmassacred.''
Satisfied he has a decent squadthis summer to chase the elusive maiden play-off berth after eight summers of trying, Greatholdersaid his troops needed to challenge themselves if they were to make a difference tomorrow.
``We still have a lot of belief in ourselves,'' the Napier bank manager said, adding come end of this season he could safely say Bay United would be one of the best sides possession wise.
Tomorrow he expected his men to be first to the ball and to ``pick up the pieces''.
``We have to show more hunger and passion than them to want to claim points.''
Greatholder said the videoanalysis showed the Bay didn't have enough intensity against the Dragons last Sunday
Former Waitakere bench player Sean Lovemore, in his Bay debut season, said last Sunday was difficult. The striker, who lost his lead in the premier golden boot race last Sunday, said the 4-0 score wasn't a fair reflection of how well the now third-placed Bay played in Christchurch, with the Keith Braithwaite-coached Dragons leapfrogging them to sit second on the ladder
``It was a pretty poor performance all round but it's not an accurate account although we did deserve to lose,'' Lovemore said from Auckland.
He described his former home ground as a good surface, usually with a sparse turnout.
``We won't have the crowd on our case. There aren't too many obstacles so fingers crossed we'll squeeze some points out of them.''
Lovemore said without doubt Waitakere and Auckland City, the O-League campaigners, were the best outfits in New Zealand soccer.
``Waitakere have some pace to burn up front so we'll just have to be a little careful.''
Bay United drew 1-1 with Auckland at Kiwitea Street earlier.
Lovemore said his parents would make a 40-minute drive to watch him play.
``It'll be nice to catch up with some old mates in the Waitakere team, too,'' he said, adding it was tragic to find out about fatalities not far from Fred Taylor Park on Thursday after the tornado.
Bay midfielder Cole Peverley is suspended with ex-Otago United winger Harley Rodeka coming in,
while Josh Margetts returns to the bench from an injury lay-off for an injured Matt Hastings.
Greatholder hoped new signing and Bay-born Dakota Lucas would come up to speed soon after knee surgery.