Ellie Gilliatt, captain of Sheffield United Women, has insisted Carla Ward's side will improve as the season progresses following a busy summer in the transfer market.
Nearly 20 new players arrived at Bramall Lane earlier this summer, following the club's elevation to the FA Championship.
Although she admitted United had failed to perform at their best during Saturday's defeat by Durham, Gilliatt said: "I think we've got to remember that we've got 17 new players and as much as we want to play great, we've got to be realistic. It's going to take a bit of time to gel and be relaxed."
Gilliatt, previously of Sheffield FC, acknowledged United's shortage of game time had proven crucial against well-established opposition last weekend.
Becky Salicki edged the visitors in front early in the second-half before Emily Roberts stretched their lead in added time.
"We had a way we worked in pre-season, a way we worked as a team," Gilliatt, speaking to United's official website, said. "The scoreline was probably fair. The (first) goal killed us a bit because they sat back after they scored. I feel we should have got out better, as a unit."