WOLLONGONG defender Chris Price is confident the side is building towards the finals after another gritty victory on Sunday.
The Wolves prevailed 1-NIL over Western Sydney, a 32nd minute Josh Bingham header enough to separate the teams at Albert Butler Oval.
The Wolves were not at their best throughout the clash, the youthful exuberance of the Wanderers squad rattling the hosts.
Milton-Ulladulla product Price acknowledged his team struggled at times, but was pleased to get the win and continue the march towards the finals.
"It wasn't pretty today, but at this time of year, it doesn't really matter how well you play, it's the results that matter," Price said. "It's pleasing to go back to back now.
"We've been guilty of making things tougher than they need to be in a few games, we've put ourselves in some tough situations. It is a good learning curve though. We've got a young squad and I think that bodes well for us in the finals."
Wollongong started the match slowly, the visitors attacking from the onset while the Wolves lacked energy and intent early.
The Wanderers defensive pressure led to a number of turnovers, with Western Sydney generating multiple early chances.
The NPL2 side started to tire as the match wore on and the hosts slowly gained the ascendancy.
That resulted in Bingham's goal, while Marcus Beattie and Thomas James also came close.
The second half was a tight affair, both teams generating chances in front of goal.
The Wolves had a number of golden opportunities, however they were unable to extend their advantage.
Western Sydney were dangerous on the counter attack, substitute defender Nick Littler shutting down a number of promising raids.
Wollongong coach Luke Wilkshire was disappointed with his team's first half, but praised the squad for their response in the second.
"They started better than us," Wilkshire said. "They were hungrier than us. I wasn't happy with the first half performance. It wasn't good enough, it's not what we're about.
"The second half was much better. We created enough chances, obviously we needed to score to make the game a little bit more comfortable. Second half I was happy with, first half I was not."
Wollongong's win came as multiple results fell their way throughout the weekend.
Rockdale moved into outright first place on 20 points with a 3-2 victory over APIA Leichhardt.
The Wolves have climbed into second on the ladder on 18 points, level with Sydney United 58, who suffered a shock 5-1 loss to Blacktown.
Sydney Olympic and Marconi recorded draws, while Sydney FC defeated Mt Druitt 5-0.
Wollongong will face the Sky Blues next Sunday, with Price confident his team is improving with each week.
"We're timing it quite nicely," Price said. "We're not playing our best football but we're winning games. We're quietly confident with where we are coming to the business end of the season."