The proof of this has been in the right pudding Kilmarnock have made of their opening four SPFL Premiership league fixtures, the soft centre in their defence causing a series of promising performances to collapse in disappointment. Adding to the mix a defender capable of stiffening their resolve would seem pertinent, then, although Allan Johnston was given to interpret his needs more broadly yesterday. "We're just looking for winners," said the Kilmarnock manager.
That also applies to a Scottish League Cup tie tonight, the visit of SPFL Championship leaders Hamilton Academical bringing with it another opportunity for Kilmarnock to register their first competitive win of the campaign. The season has so far been pockmarked by defeats against Aberdeen and Hibernian - the Edinburgh side winning at Rugby Park on Saturday - as well as draws with both St Johnstone and St Mirren, results which have blemished, too, the complexion of Johnston's nascent tenure.
Managers will often consider a cup tie against a team from a lower division to be a refuge since the inadequacies of their side will not seem quite as glaring. Johnston will hope that he is able to reflect the success he had in such competitions last season on to his squad this evening - the coach having lifted the Ramsdens Cup with Queen of the South, after giving Hibs a bloody nose at this stage in the League Cup. He led the Dumfries side to a 2-0 home win.
"I had a good record [in the cups] last year," said the Kilmarnock manager, who is without Kris Boyd again as the striker completes a two-match suspension. "It's important that we start winning games; performances have been good but it's not good enough just playing well and creating chances, you need to finish teams off. We know we've still got a lot of work to do but we've got to improve quickly and starting getting wins.
"We need to start giving winning performances. Hamilton are top of the league in the first division, playing well. They are really good going forward so it's going to be a tough test."
It is one which will feel like a resit for Jeroen Tesselaar. The defender lasted just 14 minutes of a defeat by Stenhousemuir in the first round of the League Cup last season, maintaining an inauspicious run of form in cup competitions. "Last season in the League Cup, it was terrible," said the Dutchman. "And in the Scottish Cup I think we had a big chance and we didn't do it. I've never been far in a cup . . . back home I was in a second division club so not even then. You would maybe get to the quarter-finals then get a big club and it's over."
Hamilton appear likely to arrive in Ayrshire with ideas above their station in the Championship, though, having won all three of their opening league fixtures. "We have deserved our wins so far, however this is a step up as we are facing Premiership opponents," said Alex Neil, the Hamilton player-manager. "They have not had the best run of results but there is no pressure on us to do anything."