Adelaide United is ready to emerge as the early-season marquee-buster with flying winger Iain Ramsay predicting the club’s AFC Champions League exploits has put it in top gear for an A-League assault.
Having upset Emile Heskey's Newcastle Jets debut last Sunday with a 2-0 win at the Hunter, the Reds are now bidding to shoot down Shinji Ono and his Western Sydney Wanderers at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night.
And Ramsay, who has scored in each of his club's last three games and is in exhilarating form, is expecting three more points as the Reds seek to capitalise on a pre-season which saw them reach the last eight of the Champions League before last week’s heartbreak exit against Bunyodkor.
"I feel with the pre-season we've had we have a decent head start on the other A-League teams and it's up to us to capitalise on that," he said.
"Our fitness and sharpness is right up there and I think it's only going to get better.
"We can play with a lot for fluency than we did against Newcastle and hopefully you will see that against Western Sydney.
"I certainly back us to take the points because the belief is really strong in the squad right now and we've got a real cohesion about us right now.
"We're determined to put the disappointment of the last A-League season behind us and already it seems like an awful long time ago.
"We're enjoying our football and we have an opportunity now to build on the pre-season we've had while all the other teams are still finding their feet in the competition."
Making Friday night a less than memorable one for Japanese star Ono - who showed glimpses of his playmaking pedigree off the bench in his Wanderers debut in the goalless draw against Central Coast Mariners at the weekend - will be an extra bonus, with Ramsay saying: "It's exciting to have a player of his ability in the competition but we certainly won't be just concentrating on shutting him down because it's never just about one player.
"We know that as a new club Wanderers will have huge motivation to do well and we'll have to be wary of that. But if we play as we can I think they will find it hard to stop us and we're definitely backing ourselves to win."
The victory over Newcastle showed "true character" according to Ramsay, with the Reds shrugging off their narrow Champions League exit to overcome the Jets just a day after returning to the country from Tashkent.
"We were really happy to get that result, considering the journey we had and also the way we lost in Uzbekistan (3-2 in extra time after leading twice and after the 2-2 first leg draw at Hindmarsh Stadium).
"All the focus was on Heskey and he certainly showed some of his class and quality. He looked good in the air and while he won't get behind defenses too much, he's very strong and holds the ball up well.
"If they play it to his feet this season his quality will shine through, though I don't think you will see the very best of him until at the midway point in the season."
Goalkeeper Mat Ryan, defender Pedj Bojic and midfielder Oliver Bozanic look to have played their last games for Central Coast Mariners as the A-League champion faces a raft of departures.