Blues coach Pat lam says that a policy of stripping their game back during the bye has brought the team closer to being a winning team but not close enough.
Lam says that the policy is why the Blues are getting close results and getting themselves into positions to win games at the death.
"We haven't had a blow out at all and it shows that in the times we are in these guys are still united and working for it." said Lam.
"And in all the games we are right in it and there are just some key things that aren't going for us," he said.
Lam added that issues of knowing when to run with the ball and went to kick were still factors affecting their performance and they were being addressed in the team by the tactical leaders.
Despite the run of losses Lam said that he could not fault the effort of the players.
"We're close but not close enough," he told Sportal.
Lam said they had put plenty of work into the breakdown for last week in order to shut down the Highlanders ' options at lineouts and to apply pressure on their set pieces.
"We gave it a good effort but again we had some big calls (forward passes and a shove in the back for wing Rene Ranger) that went against us in that last 15 or so minutes. "
"But that's rugby and we've got to live with it.
"We can't buy a trick at the moment, we've just got to keep working," he said.
"Last week we talked about our defence, we talked about trying to get our breakdown and get up and shut it down and that made a big difference to us and particularly the work we did at the breakdown.
"And again this week there are so many things in a short amount of time, it's just working on things that will make a difference," he said.
The Blues face the Reds at Eden Park in Auckland this weekend and Lam says it's a situation of the Blues' backs being completely against the wall.
"This is the time when you back your mates, anyone who is struggling, anyone who is under pressure, you get in and help them," he said.