It’s been one of the best starts Melbourne Victory has ever had to a Hyundai A-League season.
Through seven rounds Victory has the most potent attack, most miserly defence and are hot on the heels of the ladder-leading Perth Glory.
Five wins in succession has Melbourne in a good space and star forward Kosta Barbarouses is fully aware that the challenges will keep on coming through Christmas and the New Year.
“I don’t think it gets hard [the more you win],” Barbarouses said on Wednesday.
“Everyone gets up to play us – the stature of the club, the crowd that comes along – so it always keeps us on our toes.
“We’ve always got to be on top of our game, it’s still early days for us. We’ve got to keep focusing on ourselves and not think about the wins in a row [statistic].
“If we put in good performances, that’s what leads to wins.”
Making the Club’s recent run of form all the more remarkable have been injuries to Nick Ansell, Georg Niedermeier, Kenny Athiu, Jai Ingham and Raul Baena, which have tested the depth and resilience of Kevin Muscat’s squad.
On depth, Barbarouses is bullish, believing the growing competition for spots augers well.
“In any good team that’s always the case, ideally you want two players vying for each position in every position.
“Squads are a little smaller in our league, but we’re close to that.
“We’ve all got to keep our foot on the peddle and keep pressure on those who are starting and those who want to play.”
The Kiwi international obviously won’t be featuring in January’s Asian Cup, but believes two of his teammates, Terry Antonis and James Troisi, ought to.
“They’ve both started really well this season.
“I think Jimmy has been in the frame for the Socceroos for the last five or six years. Terry’s been in and out, but both are a realistic chance of going away.
“I’d be surprised if at least one of them didn’t go, to be honest.”
With Tommy Deng and Lawrence Thomas’ names also been thrown forward as potential inclusions the tournament could further test the aforementioned depth, but Barbarouses knows it's all a part of the game.
“We’ve had to deal with this before with ‘Millsy’ [Mark Milligan] – and he was captain of the club – and we’ve had a to deal with a few injuries this year.
“We just have to hope if they do go away people step in and do the job as well as they do.”
Melbourne Victory continue its Hyundai A-League campaign away to Brisbane this Friday night.