Ufuk Talay had just a few days in his new job as boss of struggling Sydney FC to prepare for his opening A-League Men clash against Adelaide United - and even he was left pondering how they had somehow managed to dramatically transform their fortunes.
Rooted to the foot of the table while winless and goalless after the opening three rounds, the Sky Blues, in Talay's first match since replacing Steve Corica earlier in the week, produced an utterly dominant performance on Saturday to thump the Reds 5-1 in Adelaide.
Talay was left admitting it was difficult to identify just what exactly led them to end the run of losses and break the goal drought in such emphatic fashion after such a short time in charge.
"It's a tough one to answer because I've only been I the job for three days," he said.
"We tweaked a few things; I think we got the players to press a lot higher. I think they have the energy to do that and after 20, 25 minutes it slowed down a little bit but, from the sidelines we kept demanding it from the players and they pushed as hard as they could.
"It wasn't easy to do in two days, but the players took it on and took initiative as well - and it's promising."
Joe Lolley scored twice in the first 13 minutes and provided an assist for young midfielder Jaiden Kucharski, who finished a brace before halftime.
Lolley collected his second assist when Fabio Gomes nodded in a minute into the second half to make it 5-0.
Sydney were relentless and pressed United high up the park, forcing Adelaide to turn over possession cheaply as the Reds struggled to get out of their own defensive third.
Despite the positive response in in his first match days in the role, Talay isn't thinking too far ahead.
"It's only one game. I think you expect a response when a new coach comes in, and they've set the tone and set their standard and what we can build on."
Talay will have an extended period to work with the team before their next game, with no fixtures scheduled next week due to the international break.
Sydney's next match is against fierce rivals Western Sydney Wanderers on 25th November.
"I look at it as a positive in the sense that we get a nice 10 days, a nice window to really instil and implement what we want the players to do," he said.
"And that leads to the derby, so hopefully we'll work the boys hard in the next 10 days and keep continuing to build."