Ivan Cleary must find a way to stop the Wests Tigers from relapsing when placed under second half pressure in the NRL.
But he warns it won’t happen overnight.
The Tigers slumped to their fifth loss in six games on Sunday, again cruelled by another disappointing second half performance.
After leading 16-10 at the break and 22-10 with 25 minutes to play against Parramatta, the Tigers conceded three late tries to go down 26-22 at ANZ Stadium.
It marked the sixth consecutive second half they have lost, and an overall aggregate scoreline of 112-34 against them in second periods this year – compared to a four-point total deficit in first halves.
“There are some things that haunted us under pressure that have been happening for a while,” Cleary said.
“When you’ve got some bad habits they come out under pressure, and that happened (on Sunday).”
Also worrying will be the fact they have scored just three tries in the second period of their past six matches.
But more pressing in Cleary’s mind will be their defensive structures.
Their edges were regularly raided by the Eels on Monday, and they were lucky Parramatta were unable to capitalise on a number of chances in the first half to build a lead.
“Our defensive reads and our cohesion on the edges needs some work,” Cleary said.
“Anyone who has been watching this team for a while now can say that that’s been like that.
“We’ve been making some adjustments but you can’t just turn it on or off like a tap. We’ll keep working at it.”
Despite Monday’s loss, the Tigers have still been much improved under Cleary.
They beat North Queensland in their first game under the former Penrith and Warriors mentor last week, and were in Monday’s loss up to the siren.
Fullback James Tedesco also appeared back to his best, despite the contract dramas surrounding him, captain Aaron Woods and wantaway five-eighth Mitchell Moses.
“I still think we’ll take confidence out of it,” Tedesco said.
“It’s a big improvement from the start of the year.
“Ivan has come in and given us a bit of stability there. We’re only going to get better from that one.”