Perth Glory captain Rostyn Griffiths is no stranger to getting his shinguards dirty to secure a result as the anchor of the Glory midfield machine.
However, the 28-year-old admitted there was extra incentive for his side to exert their physicality out on the pitch in a 3-2 win over Championship favourites Melbourne City.
"I think those boys have quality everywhere all over the pitch, and we knew that going into it, so we knew we had to turn that into a bit of a fight - I think that's what we did," Griffiths said.
"Overall I think we outfought them, and we created a couple of chances and probably should have put some away.
"I think we were excellent, the boys were immense tonight."
Perth were impressive on a quick AAMI park pitch, despite missing two of their key defensive players, however the Glory captain believes the added competition for places will only benefit the team.
"You know we had Rhys Williams out tonight, Shane Lowry out tonight, other young boys who are good players that you haven't even seen yet," Griffiths said.
"I think in every position you've got to have people that are threatening.
"Obviously it gives the coaches a bit of a headache and we've had that headache. These guys can all come in and compete but to be successful you've got to have a squad like that."
One such dilemma that coach Kenny Lowe will have to deal with is on the left side of the pitch, where Marc Warren, Joseph Mills and Shane Lowry are all adept.
Warren in particular put in a solid shift at left back which will only serve to see his stocks rise as players look to lock down places in the first team.
"Yeah 'Waz' is an agressive little lad, and tonight he had some pacey lads against him, like (Bruce) Kamau and (Nick) Fitzgerald when he came on," Griffiths said.
"I think he handled them well and dominated his role and Josh Risdon did the same on the other side.
"It makes your job easier in the middle of the park, you don't have to get out wide or do the extra workload."
That doesn''t mean Griffiths was inconsequential to the result. The skipper stood tall and was at the forefront when Glory's frustrations spilled over after a contentious penalty decision. And in the fall-out Perth coach Kenny Lowe was sent to the stands at the break.
Griffiths put the heated contest down to the competitive nature of the two sides, with the stakes increased following a heavy squad investment during the off-season.
"I think it was a case of two teams both wanting to win," Griffiths said.
"You've got (City's) Bruno Fornaroli making slide tackles, that didn't happen so much last year, we needed to turn it into a fight and we did.
"Obviously we were frustrated with the referee's decision that fired everyone up, their players were chirping up every time we got a free kick, it was just getting everyone a bit agressive."
Griffiths added: "It just spurred us on really, I think it turned it into a little bit of a war that people want, and I think we'll win it."