KENNEWICK -- The sign of a good team is even when it's playing badly, it finds a way to win.
By that definition, then, Tri-Cities Fever coach Adam Shackleford has a pretty good team.
His team is 4-0, sitting atop the Indoor Football League's Intense Conference, and looking at Friday's 7:05 p.m. home contest against the Wyoming Cavalry.
Shackleford said his team struggled during Thursday's 54-48 road victory against the Everett Raptors.
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"We didn't play very well, and I still feel very good about the win," Shackleford said.
The Fever dug itself a 13-0 hole before rallying to win a game in which the score was tied four times and the lead changed hands five more times.
"I liked that we won the game, that the pass was clear, and that everybody made it through the game basically injury-free," Shackleford said.
But he didn't like seeing missed assignments on both sides of the ball, dropped balls and misalignments on defense.
"We can't make mistakes this week like we did last week," Shackleford said. "We had blocking assignment errors, and we were not staying with our man on defense. I think we played down to our competition."
Fever defensive back Lionell Singleton said the team can't get away with that every week.
"We came out slow and sluggish," Singleton said. "Everyone knows we came out slow, and everyone realizes we can't do that against every team. But I liked the way we were coming together as a team offensively and defensively. Even though we were down, we always seem to find a way to come together."
Singleton had a pretty good season for the Fever in 2011. But he's off to an even better start this season.
Through four games, the defensive back leads the IFL in interceptions with six. He also leads the Fever defense with 27 tackles.
"I think I'm more focused this year," Singleton said. "I felt I learned a lot this past year. I see (receiver) routes different and the quarterbacks different. I'm definitely more focused."
-- Shackleford expects wide receiver Tre Young to play Friday.
Young, a standout last season for the Fever before spending time this year in the Arena Football League's Jacksonville Sharks training camp, was signed last week by Tri-Cities.
There was a thought that Young might play against Everett on Thursday.
"We weren't gonna throw a guy in there with one or two practices under his belt," Shackleford said. "That's not fair to the other guys."
-- Shackleford said defensive back Marquise Liverpool would be a game-time decision Friday. Liverpool injured his ankle two weeks ago against the Colorado Ice and missed last week's game in Everett.
Liverpool also is the Fever's long snapper.
-- Defensive back Garcia Day was released this week. Day, who played collegiately at Boise State, was signed by the Fever earlier this month after being released by the AFL's Spokane Shock.
But he never played a down for Tri-Cities.
"It didn't work out," Shackleford said. "We will be bringing in another guy. We're 4-0, but we're going to keep tweaking the roster."