SUNSHINE Coast Fire coach Paul Arnison admitted there was cause for concern after his team conceded seven goals in its Macron Cup third-place playoff against Moreton Bay Jets last night.
The first-year coach is confident his team can rebound from the 7-3 loss at Redcliffe before hosting Brisbane City in next month's NPL Queensland season-opener.
"When you're conceding goals - as many as we did - it obviously is a worry," Arnison said.
"But we had some on-trial players in there today, experimenting with a few things. It's still pre-season.
"It's disappointing to lose games in the manner we did, but if you make mistakes at NPL level against NPL teams - and Moreton Bay is a good NPL team - they're going to take those chances and you're going to get punished.
"We're learning all the time and we'll try to put those mistakes right on the training field and certainly drum it into the boys that if you make mistakes in these areas of the field against good opposition, you're going to pay."
The Fire was down 4-1 at the break, but missed a penalty that could have made the game closer.
"The scoreline says 7-3, but to be honest we gave them three or four goals," Arnison said.
"These little things that are going against us at the minute - every time we make a mistake we're punished for it. The game could have been 6-6. It could have been 7-7, but they just took the chances when we gave them to them."
The former captain - and part-time player this season - said his team's offensive output was pleasing.
"We're disappointed to concede goals as a team, but on the other side of it I would be more worried if we weren't creating chances," he said.
"We've got to work on our defensive side at training - hopefully we can get that right. But at the same time I want to keep going forward and scoring goals."
The season opens on March 1 at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
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