Central Coast Mariners coach Tony Walmsley is upbeat about the future of his young side despite being outgunned 2-1 away to Brisbane Roar on Sunday.
The visitors were overwhelmed early at Suncorp Stadium and might have found themselves further behind had Roar made the most of their first-half opportunities.
However, a more competitive second 45 minutes was enough for Walmsley to see the positives ahead this season.
“We will no doubt get better,” Walmsley said.
“These guys have a real aptitude for learning. They take everything on board.
“It’s not going to be an instant adaptation to A-League football but it will happen quickly.”
Central Coast grabbed a late consolation when substitute Josh Bingham turned home Fabio Ferreira’s cutback in the 88th minute, but Walmsley admitted the damage could well have been greater after a lethargic start to the match.
“We had a couple of five minute patches here and there but Brisbane were the better side,” he said.
“They had us by the throat. They could have taken the game away from us in the first-half.
“Because they didn’t, it gave us an opportunity at half-time to address one or two things and we made a much better fist of it in the second half.”