Melbourne Victory are flying now but appreciate sterner challenges are to come as they attempt to stretch a five-game A-League winning run.
In the short-term, there's what to do without defensive recruit Georg Niedermeier, who will miss Friday's trip to Brisbane and possibly longer with his ankle issue.
And then there's January, with a growing possibility that Victory could be without a Socceroo, or two, or three, during the Asian Cup.
Kosta Barbarouses, no stranger to putting together an unbeaten streak from his days at Ange Postecoglou's record-setting Brisbane Roar side, said Victory knew what was coming.
"That was 28 games unbeaten, I guess teams took a while to figure us out in that season," he said of Roar's 2010-11 campaign.
"Everyone gets up to play (Victory), for whatever reason.
"The stature of the club, the crowd that comes along to the game, so it just always keeps us on our toes, we always have to be on top of our game.
"We have to keep focusing on ourselves, not thinking about the wins in a row, just to put in good performances as most of the time that will lead to the wins."
Niedermeier was an early withdrawal in Victory's latest triumph, a 2-0 defeat of Adelaide United last Saturday.
He's been restricted to gym duties since and has been ruled out this week, with Victory hopeful he'll play in the next-up Christmas derby.
Nick Ansell, who missed round seven with a shoulder complaint, trained and should be fit to travel north.
It remains to be seen whether Victory will have others tapped by Graham Arnold for the Asian Cup
Thomas Deng looks a likely selection at right-back, with reported injuries to Aaron Mooy and ex-Victory man Tom Rogic opening the door for Socceroos recalls for Terry Antonis or James Troisi.
Barbarouses backed up-and-comer Josh Hope to step in should a midfielder depart.
"Jimmy has been in the frame for the Socceroos for the past five or six years. Terry has been in and out, and I think they are both a realistic chance of going away," he said.
"I would be surprised if at least one of them didn't go.
"We have had to deal with it before, with (Mark Milligan) Millsy as well a few years back, he was the club captain too.
"I've been a big fan of Hopey since I came back last year. I think he's a great player.
"If he comes into the starting XI he can do a really good job for us. I'm really excited by him."