Western Sydney Wanderers coach Markus Babbel has lauded his rejuvenated squad after a 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory propelled them to the top of the A-League table.
The Wanderers held off a late Victory fightback on Friday night to record their second win in as many matches - a stark contrast to last season where they won just six games for the year.
"Every win helps especially if you look where we've come from. Last season (was) very disappointing, and we did a couple of changes in the summer," Babbel said post-match.
"And also it's not easy for these guys - they had to come in the right way - and we also had to learn winning again because last season we lost more than we won."
After the Wanderers took a 2-0 lead, Victory hit back via a penalty and pushed for a late equaliser - but the visitors were able to hold on.
Babbel said that resilience was in stark contrast to last season, where his side almost certainly would have dropped points in a similar situation.
"(Last year) we were 3-1 up in City, we lost 4-3. We were 3-1 up against Perth, we lost 4-3. So we always found a way to lose," Babbel said.
"So now we have to find ways to win and to get the confidence ... and every win now helps us a lot to get more confidence, more believing in our strengths.
"Because we have a good side, it is a good group, I really enjoy (working) with them because now we are talking about professional football and this is a different atmosphere."
Babbel overhauled the Wanderers squad during last season and over the most recent off-season and hailed the positive influence of his senior players.
"There was a reason why we were looking for ... Dylan (McGowan), Matt Jurman, Pirmin Schwegler - these are players, (Daniel) Georgievski - they are strong guys," he said.
"And if you see today we played with four young players, (Daniel) Wilmering was first time starting, Mo (Adam) was first time starting in the A-League.
"And this is important that they have players around them who are helping them and first the young ones did a fantastic job but it was a great help from the older guys with Mitch (Duke) ... the balance is important and last year we didn't have this balance."
Babbel said he hoped to potentially have injury replacement signing Nicolai Muller on the bench for next week's Sydney derby but couldn't be certain of his availability.