Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat says his side deserves to be the league leaders, after moving to the top of the table after their 2-1 win over Central Coast last night.
Victory moved ahead of Brisbane Roar on goal difference, thanks to a brace from Gui Finkler.
Muscat said he was delighted with his side's performance given the heavy schedule of both A-League and FFA Cup games in recent weeks.
"We've had to go back to the same well. We've asked Oli (Bozanic) to back up, we've asked Mathieu (Delpierre), Leigh (Broxham)... and we find ourselves in a very good position," he said.
"But like what I tell the players, ultimately you get what you deserve. I'm a big believer in that and they've spent every ounce of energy they had tonight and they got what they deserved."
The reigning champs were without captain Carl Valeri and star striker Besart Berisha, but Muscat expects both to be fit for the next match.
''Carl had some hamstring tightness, related to his back. He's got a nine-day turnaround to the next game,'' Muscat explained.
"In the past few weeks we have had five games with five-day turnarounds, he's (Berisha) tight and sore in certain areas, we didn't want to take any risks.''
However, Berisha's absence gave young forward George Howard an opportunity up front and also allowed Gui Finkler to shine.
''George worked hard for us, he will be better for that game tonight. George battled hard, he took on responsibility for his team. He was concentrating on working so hard when we didn't have the ball. He's quick, he's a goalscorer, but we probably didn't see enough of that tonight because he was working so hard when he didn't have the ball.," Muscat said.
"Ultimately, we've set ourselves up where you try and distinguish one threat, then all of a sudden another fire will start very, very quickly.
"When Bes is out there he gets a lot of attention and he frees up a lot of people. All of sudden, Kosta's some scintillating form and then Gui gets his opportunity but Gui's been arriving in those moments quite regularly."