Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes captain Ryan Price believes the improvement must start in the midfield if the Goannas are going to bounce back against Coolamon on Saturday.
The Goannas' four-game winning streak came to a screaming halt last weekend when they went down to Wagga Tigers by 11 goals.
MCUE were restricted to just two goals for the game and now face the task of bouncing back against Coolamon on the day the club celebrates its 125-year anniversary.
Price said the Goannas were too slow to react against Tigers last weekend and must improve to be any chance of knocking over the Hoppers.
"They were a lot quicker than us, especially in the midfield and moved the ball really well," Price said.
"They were quicker on the spread than us as well.
"It's going to be a massive midfield battle again (on Saturday), that's Coolamon's strength in my opinion. We have to be quick to react both ways and spread quicker than the other team."
MCUE coach Jeremy Rowe goes out of the team with a hamstring injury, while young gun Ethan Schiller returns.
Price knows how valuable a win on Saturday could be for the fifth-placed Goannas.
"We actually sat down and mapped out a few weeks ago a bit of plan for us to make finals and we've ticked off a few so far," he said.
"Whenever you can win against the top sides, obviously we're fifth so we need wins, but you want to beat the top sides to maintain that spot and obviously this game is an opportunity to do that."