Paolo Zanetti acknowledges Venezia are ‘not yet a team’ and the many signings who are new to Serie A get even the most basic tactical movements wrong.
Their showdown with Empoli kicks off on Saturday at 14.00 UK time (13.00 GMT).
The Lagunari have had a dismal start to the campaign following their success in the promotion play-offs, losing both games without scoring a single goal.
Internationals Arnor Sigurdsson and Dor Peretz are out of action, while Domen Crnigoj and Tyronne Ebuehi will have to be evaluated.
“There are so many areas we need to work on and above all make progress in terms of defensive balance, which is what we lacked the most so far,” said the coach in his press conference.
“Our preventative positions haven’t been right either and in my view the main issue is one of mentality. Being a team means running that little bit extra for your teammates, not making stupid mistakes, and I haven’t seen Venezia work as a team yet. I saw a reaction during the training retreat and hope they learned from their errors.”
The situation is hardly improving, as last week they were beaten 4-0 in a friendly by Serie B side Brescia.
“Venezia were more of a real team last season and that’s what we need to find again. We are too fragile and we showed that even against Brescia,” continued Zanetti.
“I want to be clear, it was not a punitive training retreat after that game, it was a way of speeding up the process of all these new players getting to know each other, on and off the field. I promised the lads I would wipe the slate clean and treat them all equally when making my choices for the starting XI.”
Many of the new signings at Venezia are new to Serie A and Zanetti sees that as a problem for a club fighting against relegation.
“As I said, the positioning is a problem and that kind of tactical aspect is very important in Italy. A lot of the new players are accustomed to doing things a different way, but in Italy if your starting position is wrong, you’ll concede a goal.”