St George Illawarra star Paul Vaughan didn't need a rigorous post-season review to figure out where it all went wrong for the NRL club last season.
And he's adamant it's all the motivation the Dragons need for 2020.
"Obviously it wasn't the season we wanted to have this year. It was pretty embarrassing," Vaughan said during a NSW State of Origin jersey launch.
"All the boys are using that as motivation to come out firing for next year. It's easy to say, but we all need to get back to training and have a solid off-season."
Whether it was the absence of stood down teammate Jack de Belin or a long-term injury to Gareth Widdop, little went right for St George Illawarra this year.
The review, led by experienced administrator Phil Gould, resulted in almost an entirely new football staff, with coach Paul McGregor one of a few survivors.
McGregor now has two new assistants in former Cronulla premiership-winning coach Shane Flanagan, as well as James Shepherd.
The club also replaced its strength and conditioning coach, physiotherapist, and added a culture and leadership official and mind and performance coach.
But Vaughan insists another change needs to be made.
"I think we just need to instil a bit of mental toughness, which we can get out of pre-season. That's the biggest thing we need to do," he said.
"There was a couple of games there that blew out points-wise. I think that just comes back to mental toughness and defence."
The Dragons will be relying on some self-improvement next season, with former Warriors hooker Issac Luke the only addition to the squad for next year.
Gone is captain Gareth Widdop and veteran prop Jeremy Latimore.
Vaughan said Luke, a former New Zealand international, would ease the workload on regular No.9 Cameron McInnes.
"(Issac) gives us a little bit of depth there, and he's obviously very experienced too. He'll add a lot to the group," Vaughan said.
"He takes a little bit of toll off Cam McInnes, who gets through so much work week in, week out.
"We can have Issac there, whether to give Cam a bit of a rest there or move him into lock, it remains to be seen. I think we'll benefit."
Australian Associated Press