SYDNEY FC midfielder Brett Emerton has warned the club's rivals his team is far from the finished article despite their record-breaking thrashing of Wellington on Saturday.
The Sky Blues recorded their biggest-ever win, their most goals scored in a match and in a half of football as they routed Wellington 7-1 to surge back into finals contention.
Inspired by the exploits of marquee man Alessandro Del Piero, Sydney produced some of the most fluent football seen in the harbour city for some time in what's been a largely disappointing campaign.
"We've gradually been getting better with each week and after the late comeback (against Melbourne Heart) the week before everyone was looking forward to last weekend's match," Emerton said on Monday.
"It all seemed to gel together really well on the weekend and hopefully that's a sign of things to come. We're making progress but I don't think we're quite there yet.
"Football is all about confidence and the confidence is really starting to flow throughout the team.
"The belief is starting to come and that's going to make a massive difference for the rest of the season."
Sydney were sitting bottom of the ladder just two weeks ago but back-to-back wins now has Frank Farina's side just one point out of the top six with plenty of momentum.
"We're certainly a little bit more optimistic than we were a few weeks ago now," Emerton said of the side's finals hopes.
"But we need to continue to back that up because we've got some tough games coming up starting with Melbourne (Victory) this weekend.
"Hopefully we go there and come away with something and keep the roll going because in this league once start stringing a few wins together you start jumping up that ladder.
"(Victory) have been playing well but we still remember the 3-2 loss at home earlier in the season and that really hurt us because it was a game we should have held on and won.
"Hopefully we can get a bit of revenge on the weekend."
Emerton gave a lot of the credit for Sydney's brilliant performance to the contribution of new striker Joel Griffiths.
"His understanding of the game and the runs he makes helps us out as midfielders as well," the 33-year-old said.
"I think we've got a lot of experience within that midfield now.
"With myself, Del Piero, Jason (Culina) the understanding between us is definitely coming and improving every week which is exciting."
Saturday night's victory was also the first time the Sky Blues had won three consecutive matches on home soil since late 2010.
Defender Adam Griffiths trained strongly with the side on Monday and is expected to be available for selection this weekend.