Sydney FC coach Ian Crook has challenged his players to provide better service to Alessandro Del Piero when the Sky Blues play Newcastle on Saturday.
The Italian striker worked tirelessly attempting to spark a flat Sydney outfit in his A-League debut, as Crook's team fell 2-0 to Wellington in New Zealand.
Del Piero didn't train with the squad on Monday, with the 37-year-old spending time on a exercise bike before taking a stroll around Sydney's training complex at Macquarie University and making his way to the dressing rooms.
"He obviously was tight and with the flight and everything so with him and Emmo (Brett Emerton) today we thought the best thing was for them just to do a light recovery," Crook said.
A big crowd is expected at Allianz Stadium for the Jets' clash, with Del Piero playing his first home game of the A-League season.
And the fans will want to see goals, especially something from the Italian.
But Crook said even champions like Del Piero need some assistance to find the back of the net and he's confident Sydney have the men for the job.
"All good players need good service too. Especially players in the front third," Crook said.
"We've got the players to provide it. Things just didn't work out for us on the weekend."
Crook said it wasn't about Del Piero just plonking himself in front of goal and expecting his teammates to deliver the ball on a platter.
"He's never really played just in the box. We feel that we need to have some rotation in there. If he comes short, somebody else goes long and that type of thing," he said.
The Sydney mentor has no concerns that Del Piero might burn himself out this year if he continues to back-track and work the way he did against the Phoenix.
"He just felt he needed to drop back on the weekend because we weren't getting enough quality to him," Crook said.
"He had two opportunities at goal in a poor performance from the team. If he can do that in a poor performance then I think that's a good sign. If we perform well, you'll see more chances from him."
Sydney are expected to be without midfielder Terry Antonis who suffered concussion against Wellington.
Newcastle, who boast former England international striker Emile Heskey, also made an underwhelming start to their season when they fell 2-0 to Adelaide at home on Sunday.