The Wellington Phoenix coach Darije Kalezic has pinpointed Sydney FC's frailties and hopes to exploit them when the teams next meet this A-League season.
The Phoenix offered up a blueprint for playing the reigning champions on Sunday, twice coming back from behind and pushing Graham Arnold's sides until the final whistle at their Allianz Stadium fortress.
Kalezic believed his new side might have pulled off an upset had they had more pre-season match experience under their belts.
Nevertheless, the 3-2 loss was enough for Kalezic to feel confident Wellington had found the best way to beat the all-conquering Sky Blues.
He just wasn't ready to spill his secrets.
"Do I have to tell you now?" Kalezic said.
"We have to play two times more against Sydney, so I think I'm going to use that for myself, I'm sorry.
"Because I never work in a competition where we play each other three times, I hope we can still use those weaknesses in the next game."
Kalezic and the Phoenix camp pored over Sydney's set-up for weeks in search of chinks in the armour that shipped a record-low 12 goals last season.
On Sunday Graham Arnold's side conceded two in a single game, though it was their third match of the week.
"Sydney is a balanced team with for sure the best players in the league," Kalezic said.
"The team knows exactly in every moment what they are doing, and that makes it difficult.
"(But) of course they have weaknesses. We did everything to eliminate their qualities. I think we did well ... we fight from first to last minute."
By the next time Wellington play Sydney, at home two days before Christmas, Kalezic expects his squad to have a much better handle on the competition's heavyweights.
The problem early in the season has been a lack of high-quality pre-season friendlies - a geographical challenge the New Zealand franchise encounters every year.
"Especially in this period of the season, we are at a disadvantage in comparing with A-League teams, simply because we don't have enough games in the pre- season," Kalezic said.
"I believe we can improve much, much more than what we are now.
"This is the fourth game in four months we play. We've also played once or twice with the same team until now - if you see Sydney FC, they play with the same team for many games."
The Phoenix drew their opening game of the season against Newcastle