An honesty session between players on Asian Champions League duty in Japan has Melbourne City confident they are turning the corner in their season.
City's horror start to the year cost former coach Rado Vidosic his job after just two A-League Men games.
His successor Aurelio Vidmar has had minimal training time as he juggles a hectic schedule of ALM fixtures and ACL trips - including three games in nine days last week.
The frustration of a midweek 3-3 draw with Ventforet Kofu in Japan was soothed somewhat by beating Newcastle 2-0 away on Sunday - after the players thrashed things out on their travels.
"We always have honest conversations with the coaching group and the players in terms of performance and expectations," Vidmar said.
"The players themselves had one and I'm not privy to exactly what was said, that's amongst the players.
"But they knew they weren't performing and they needed to get things out in the open, and they had a nice discussion in Japan.
"Whether that's a turning point, who knows? But the policy here has always been to be honest and up front and truthful, and sometimes those conversations are hard to have. So we're growing up."
Vidmar said he'd already noticed some key changes, including "a little bit more resolve" in his players.
"We had some moments in the way we play in our transition moments ... they're a little bit more switched on now," he said.
"That comes also with training and making sure that we have the players in the right positions and a reaction of when we lose the ball.
"That's vitally important. That's part of our DNA as well.
"It's probably a part of a lot of players' games that they don't like. We always want the ball - we don't want to do the hard work. But unfortunately, that is the game.
"It's good. The more conversations the players can have amongst themselves, the better it is.
"Coaches, we're always having meetings and discussions, but it means more once it's coming from their peers.
"Hopefully that's a good foundation for things moving forward."
City will hit the road again for Thursday's long trip to Perth.
Vidmar confirmed Socceroos attacker Mathew Leckie will be in the mix to start against the Glory after featuring off the bench in the last couple of games following his return from a knee injury.
Australian Associated Press