Lauderdale assistant coach Clint Brown says his side's form has been less than flattering heading into Saturday's top-four clash with Launceston.
Grand finalists the past three seasons, the Southern Bombers kicked off the year with wins over Clarence and Glenorchy but were kept to just four goals against North Hobart last week.
"We played glimpses of really good football but we probably weren't consistent for four quarters and we went into the game against North Hobart and got completely outplayed in all facets of the game," Brown said.
"Heading into Launceston, who we probably see as the best team in the comp at the moment, it's probably not the ideal situation to go in where your form's not quite where it should be."
Lauderdale had the better of an intriguing rivalry last season, winning three of their four match-ups with the Blues including a pulsating preliminary final.
Veteran Alex Hevey (back) will miss Saturday's encounter with Tassie Devil Mitch Anderton (concussion) still on the sidelines, however, Nicholas Raglione has been recalled.
"We've built a rivalry with Launny over the last couple of years," Brown said.
"We've both got really good midfields - I wouldn't say our midfields are blessed with speed, but we both have similar type midfielders.
"We've both got big key forwards and our defenders play a similar sort of game, so we match up on each other quite well and I think that's why the games have been quite close and a good spectacle."
Blues captain Jobi Harper looms as the key match-up for Lauderdale after dominating the first three rounds.
"Jobi's one that's hard to tag because he's a ball-winner and he's always going to be in and under the contest, that's where he does most of his damage," Brown said.
"Trying to stop Jobi is one thing, there's other guys there that you need to put a bit of focus in to as well - [Jay] Blackberry, [Michael] Musicka, [Jake] Hinds - these guys are quality so you can't just focus on one player."
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
The TSL's only unbeaten side, Launceston has started 2020 in ominous fashion but coach Mitch Thorp believes there's still plenty of improvement to come.
Thorp said teams of Lauderdale's calibre would punish inconsistency if given the chance.
"I think they've had a pretty large shift in their list - they look like they've still got the same core but the peripheral players have changed a little bit, so it might be just taking a little bit of time to get that together," Thorp said.
"They've only lost one game so we've got to be aware that they're still a very strong outfit - having lost last week they'll want to respond."
Gun veteran Tim Bristow returns from a calf niggle for his first game of the season while Fletcher Seymour (ankle) will be assessed on Friday after missing last round.
Thorp said the duo, who were among his side's most consistent ball-winners last season, would benefit from having the leg speed of Blackberry, Brodie Palfreyman and Jared Dakin around them this year.
"I think perhaps in the past we've been a tad slow in there, but certainly we've adjusted our midfield mix and added some toe in there and it was pretty evident on the weekend that it was useful."