THE difference between winning and losing is often the hate factor. But don't take it out on referees.
That was the message Western Pride coach Kasey Wehrman told his players after his side's latest 2-0 loss to Northern Fury.
Pride was against it after having defender Devon Munn sent off for the second time this season.
Wehrman praised his 10-man outfit for toiling manfully in the slippery conditions after Munn's first-half indiscretion.
However, for his team to win more National Premier League football games, the former international midfielder said his players had to hate losing, but in a disciplined manner.
"I thought the referee called a decent game to be fair,'' Wehrman said after the Bundamba game.
"There's a few (players) that are constantly thinking the referees are against us when they are not.
"I think they've found out now that with 10 men, you don't win many football games.''
Wehrman said his players had to despise losing without a red card.
He said Pride's goalkeeper Steve Purdy typified the desperation needed on Saturday night.
Purdy saved the penalty awarded for Munn's challenge and made several brilliant blocks that kept his team in the game.
"That attitude that's he got needs to rub off on a few others a little bit more,'' Wehrman said.
"I'm not saying that the others don't have winning attitudes, but Steve has got that little bit extra that just says, 'Lads, I really want it. I really want to fight hard for it'.
"At times, I don't question their work rate. I just question whether they're up for the fight.
"Some people's personalities are that they don't like to lose. Steve hates to lose and that's what you want more in your players.''
Fury could only score a goal in each half despite a tirade of attacking possession. But Wehrman was annoyed his defender was sent off instead of accepting the penalty.
Fury goalkeeper Brad Burrows also saved a spot kick by Russell Woodruffe in the first half, awarded when Pride's "greyhound" Peter Drager was brought down in the box.
Despite that, Wehrman was encouraged his team improved on its first round 3-0 loss to Fury.
"When we went to Townsville, we didn't deserve to be in the game at all,'' the coach said.
"They killed us from Go to whoa.
"I could tell after 20 minutes that we could win this game tonight.
"Even though they were 1-0 up, I was not worried at all.
"We got a penalty that Rusty didn't put away and with 11 men there, I'm pretty sure we would have been in that game right to the end.
"We threw away the points through a silly foul and probably letting them get on top of us a little bit in the first 20 minutes.''