Tony Mowbray is looking for the real West Bromwich Albion to stand up and be counted when he takes his unpredictable Baggies team to Hillsborough to play Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow night.
The Baggies boss confessed to being somewhat baffled as to how his team could play so well in beating Burnley last weekend, then so badly in Saturday's defeat at Stoke.
But he is hoping that his undoubtedly talented team can find more of the edge needed to compete against Brian Laws' Owls if they are not to be outmuscled again as they were by Tony Pulis's Potters.
"No two football matches are the same," said Mowbray. "Why did we perform last week and not this week? Last week we got the ball down and moved it around. But it wasn't one of those days this time. We needed different qualities — and we were found wanting.
"We played against a very competitive team and weren't allowed to play our free-flowing, passing football. We needed to understand that and go and compete. And we've talked about understanding the opposition we're playing against week in, week out.
"But the players have been told what I think and we now move on to Tuesday, which is a chance for us to put things right."
Mowbray at least refused to point to Stoke's contentious match-winning first-half penalty, given for Paul Robinson's foul on Darel Russell, as an excuse for his team's defeat.
"I'm not here to moan and whinge about penalty kicks," he said. "The referee thought it was a penalty, that's all that matters. Hopefully, we'll get one or two ourselves as the season goes on."
Mowbray was more concerned with the first half as a whole — and Albion's pre-interval performance in particular on an afternoon when the Baggies ominously slipped two places to eighth in the Championship table - eight points off the joint top three, Cardiff City, Preston North End and local rivals Birmingham City.
"We lost the game in the first 45 minutes," said Mowbray. "We weren't good enough in lots of departments. And it was unacceptable. We need to make sure we don't have many 45s like that. In the second half we had more of a go and could have taken something from the game.
"But we were forcing the game then and we shouldn't have had to. We should have been playing more comfortably. We didn't create too many clear-cut chances in the second half but I felt we were in the ascendancy. We didn't get the breaks but we have to take it on the chin and move on."