Interim Central Coast Mariners boss Tony Walmsley was proud of his players after they were beaten 2-1 by Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Friday.
Central Coast, who lie eighth in the table, some 21 points behind Victory, took a surprise lead through Isaka Cernak just after the half-hour mark.
Gui Finkler's superb double won it for Victory, though, as the Mariners were left to bemoan the Brazilian's individual brilliance.
"I think we would be happy with our output," Walmsley told reporters at his post-match media conference.
"We didn't leave anything out there. We tried to execute and made a good fist of it. The risk was that the front four of Melbourne have the class to hurt you.
"Finkler's popped up with two really good goals. Really happy with how we went about things [but] it would have been good for the lads to have earned something."
Ex-Victory man Cernak impressed for the visitors and Walmsley was pleased with his effort.
"Isaka did have a good game…probably his best game since I've been here," he added.
"He made a contribution from start to end. He's got great ability, one-on-one - he can stand them [players] up or go past them.
"Scoring was great reward for a lot of effort [from him] in the last few weeks."
Walmsley regularly mentioned Central Coast's change in style, too, and said the way his players had adapted so quickly was notable.
"The club has had to decide how it plays football," he continued.
"The crowd numbers are not where we'd like them to be and that starts with playing style. The fans will really love the players getting in the face of opponents and trying to win back possession.
"My intent is to ask that question of the players, home and away. This is how the Mariners play now. There's a peg in the ground…this is how we play."
Central Coast - who have won just four times this season - travel to struggling Brisbane Roar in their next clash, on Thursday.