Newcastle Jets coach Arthur Papas says his side's performance in their 1-1 A-League Men draw with Western United that snapped a two-game losing run has provided them with "something to build on".
Making the trek to Ballarat, the Jets started Sunday afternoon's contest strongly, only to fall behind when a well-worked United move ended with Lachlan Wales cutting inside and blasting home in the 13th minute.
But Daniel Stynes restored parity four minutes later when he received the ball at the corner of United's area, opened his angle and curled a pearler inside the far post.
The 24-year-old subsequently wheeled away towards the Jets' bench in a mass celebration with his teammates and coaches.
"The group is great to work with," Papas said.
"It's really easy when you're losing games, [for outside observers] to think that there's something wrong within a group.
"There's some really strong bonds within that team.
"It was a decent performance to come out of [the game] and we definitely take something back home and something to build upon.".
With both goals occurring inside the game's opening 20 minutes, United and the Jets created enough chances in the remainder of the game to find a winner, only to be denied by wayward shooting or desperate defending.
The hosts produced a string of chances early in the second half through Dylan Pierias and Connor Pain. The Jets should have then taken the lead in the 71st minute when Stynes crossed to an open Trent Buhagiar only for him to send his close-range effort wide.
"We looked dangerous every time we went forward," said United coach John Aloisi.
"We could have and should have punished them a bit more.
"But it was positive the way that we were opening them up."
Set to face Sydney in Hobart next week, United will sweat on the fitness of striker Aleksander Prijovic after he aggravated the shoulder injury he had carried into the contest.
They will be without defender Jacob Tratt for that match after he received a straight red for denying Beka Mikeltadze a clear goalscoring opportunity with 15 minutes to go, a decision Aloisi fully accepted.
Home against Western Sydney next week, Papas expects Mark Natta, Brandon O'Neill, and Callum Timmins to all return from injury.
"The whole group acquitted themselves really well [today]," he said.
"Competition [for places] is healthy."