Respect is the key to Sydney FC's stunning A-League form says striker Kosta Barbarouses, who has already played on three title-winning teams.
Serial A-League winner Kosta Barbarouses says respect is the key to Sydney FC's sensational start to their title defence.
The Sky Blues have bolted nine points clear of second-placed Melbourne City after a 2-1 home win over Eric Mombaerts' side on Sunday.
Barbarouses, who joined the Sky Blues from Melbourne Victory after last season, knows better than most what it takes to be part of a title-winning side.
He was in Brisbane's 2011 championship-winning combination and the triumphant Victory sides in 2015 and 2018.
Barbarouses scored the winning goal against City to secure a memorable win for Sydney, who played a man down for over an hour after Socceroos fullback Rhyan Grant was sent off.
"I've played in teams where we've had to dig deep and come out on top in tough situations and this is definitely up there," Barbarouses said after the game.
"This squad, the mentality, the respect we all have for each other, for the coaching staff, you need that.
"We're all pretty easy going and we can have a laugh when it's time to, but when it's time to work, we really knuckle down.
"We work really hard at training during the week, we respect Bimbi (head coach Steve Corica) and the coaching staff."
While many outsiders believe Sydney will be almost impossible to catch in the race for the Premiers Plate, Barbarouses said they had to remain focused, starting with next Saturday's home game with Adelaide United.
"We played them round one and we weren't at our best and they almost held us," said Barbarouses referring to Sydney's 3-2 away win.
"I think it's going to be a tough game and we've got to stay focused.
"You see in this league you lose one or you draw one, City or the other guys below them pick up a win or two and it's a very open field again."