With a growing array of attacking options and one of the best defensive records, Western Sydney Wanderers are shaping as an A-League title contender.
Coach Carl Robinson says his in-form Western Sydney Wanderers side still has plenty of improvement to come despite moving to within three points of the A-League summit on the back of a hard-earned 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory.
The Wanderers eventually had the better of an arm-wrestle of a match with Graham Dorrans converting a penalty on 72 minutes, before Kwame Yeboah doubled the advantage on Wednesday two minutes before fulltime.
Goalscoring opportunities were at a premium until the final quarter of the match but the Wanderers always seemed likely to finish with all three points.
The Victory were coming off an uninspiring 5-2 defeat against Brisbane Roar on the weekend but they managed a much stouter performance at Bankwest Stadium.
"I think all teams are still trying to find their groove, although some have done that already," said Robinson. "We are sort of a mixed bag - we are doing it for stages within games but not for 90 minutes.
"We are growing each day, which is all I can ask."
Substitute Yeboah's impact follows a similar showing off the bench from attacker Bruce Kamau on the weekend and highlights an increasing array of strong attacking options for the club.
English import Jordon Mutch is now available for selection and Robinson will soon have Mitch Duke available after serving two weeks in quarantine, with the former Socceroo striker arguably the Wanderers' best player last season.
"We have a good mix - I don't want two forwards the same," said Robinson. "Sometimes we will play with one, sometimes two, sometimes with three.
"Having that variation helps. "I'm delighted with the forwards and they got their rewards."
The result saw the Wanderers extend their unbeaten run to six matches, with all six goals they have conceded either coming from set-pieces or the penalty spot.
"Everyone talks about forwards and scoring goals, but they (the defence) deserve a lot of credit," Robinson said. "Successful teams are built on strong foundations at the back."
Melbourne Victory's night was soured by a nasty head knock for star forward Marco Rojas.
Midfielder Dorrans received a caution for the high challenge although some Victory players were questioning if there should have been a greater sanction.
Rojas left the field covered in blood and Victory coach Grant Brebner confirmed the New Zealander was taken to hospital to check for any damage to the nose or eye-socket.
The tables were turned in the second half with Victory forward Rudy Gestede somehow avoiding a second caution when his wild bicycle kick collected Bernie Ibini in the head and allowed Dorrans to open the scoring.
The bottom-of-the-ladder Victory have now managed just one win from their six outings.
"The players were on notice after the weekend," said Brebner. "The result is the main thing but the players certainly played a lot better.
"It's clear we are not where we want to be. We will get better."