Western Sydney coach Carl Robinson reckons his star-studded but unpredictable A-League side have found their groove and rhythm, as they battle to keep their finals hopes alive.
The Wanderers followed up last week's dramatic 3-2 derby win over Sydney with a 5-0 drubbing of fellow finals aspirants Western United on Saturday.
Their best performance of the season lifted Western Sydney back into the top six, though seventh placed Brisbane were just a point behind with three games in hand, prior to Sunday's away clash with ladder leaders Melbourne City.
"The last two games we've got into our groove, got into our rhythm, we've taken our chances, which is important, and we've defended for our lives," Robinson said.
"Football is about what you do in both boxes, the key to it all is defending, last ditch tackles, blocking, heading, all these things.
"On the top end of the pitch it's a little bit of quality and a little bit of luck sometimes as well, so we've got that in the last two games."
Robinson gave midfielder and new recruit Steven Ugarkovic almost 40 minutes off the bench on Saturday.
"People don't really realise how good he is until you get to work with him because he's the complete package," Robinson said.
"Now he's got to challenge himself a little bit more to get to the level he wants and he will make players around him better."
Robinson wasn't concerned the late season additions to his squad of Ugarkovic and former Socceroos striker Scott McDonald, another second half substitute on Saturday, would cause any complications or selection issues.
"It doesn't give me problems at all. I think managers who have been in the game a while will say to you that you can never have enough good players," Robinson said.
Western United coach Mark Rudan was intent on putting the club's heaviest loss behind them as soon as possible.
Rudan was sympathetic rather than angry about his team's performance and was clearly unhappy about a tough schedule
They backed up three days after suffering a last-gasp loss in Queensland and had to take a flight on the day of Saturday's game.
"I can't blame the players, they tried hard out there," Rudan said after his club dropped to eighth in the table.
"From the first minute, they were obviously a lot fresher than us but we've got to move on.
"One coach told me, I remember, being on the end of a worse result, that he'd much rather lose one game 5-0 than five games 1-0 - and that's exactly how we're going to take this and look at this.
"We've got a game on Wednesday in Perth, so we've got to try and do the best we can to rest and recover."
Wanderers, who had a full week to prepare to face United, also play their next game in Perth, but not until next Sunday.
Australian Associated Press