He has seen the embers, now Trent Robinson wants a roaring fire.
The Sydney Roosters coach says he has spotted sparks of the team he wants to take through to the NRL finals, but it needs stoking against Newcastle on Friday night.
The fifth-placed side has been held together with resilience and strapping tape this season after an incredible injury toll threatened to bring their season undone.
And although their form hasn't been at its devastating best, a tough 34-18 victory over North Queensland last weekend showed him they're on the right track to finish the season strongly.
"You can play rugby league each week but not see what you want to see or see the essence of the game that you really want to play," he said.
"I saw the essence of the game that we want to continue to play and greenness in us in the way that we went about it.
"But we had some hardness there as well, from 12-nil down and the patience we had at 14-12 to sit there through a period of time.
"To be honest, I really want to build on that. I really want to continue to build that as a team. I really want young and old to really understand how we want to play as a team.
"I want an intelligent, thinking team on the field that's got hardness about it. I saw the embers, but we've got to keep stoking it each week.
"We're starting to get a group of troops back at this time of year so we're in a good place physically."
NSW Origin star James Tedesco will make his return to the side against Newcastle on Friday, while veteran centre Josh Morris has been dropped for the game.
The Roosters are four points out of the top four behind Parramatta, who they play in round 20, followed by second-placed Penrith.
A round-24 clash with South Sydney has them facing all top four sides but Melbourne over the next seven weeks, while they also face Brisbane, St George Illawarra and Canberra.
Australian Associated Press