Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey has delivered a chilling warning to his club's A-League rivals by insisting the runaway competition leader can get better.
The 1-1 away draw at closest challenger Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday kept the Roar seven points clear at the top with nine rounds to go and it also has a game in hand over the Wanderers.
Mulvey predicted ladder positions would change over the closing rounds and that Wanderers would find it tough to juggle domestic and Asian Champions League commitments.
While not ready to declare his team winner of the Premier's Plate, Mulvey made it clear he expected his side to finish above the Wanderers, as he wasn't expecting to return to Parramatta for a finals game.
''We are so strong right now,'' he said. ''We've got Matt McKay to come back. We've got competition for places.
''We're going to get bigger, we're going to get stronger and I'm really looking forward to the next couple of months.''
Roar would appear to have few deficiencies, but Mulvey was adamant improvement was possible.
''In terms of chances made, opportunities, taking control of all aspects of the game,'' he said.
''Whether it be defensively, coping with the opposition, or whether bossing a team in the final third, finishing teams off and not conceding late on.''
Mulvey is hoping McKay (ankle) will resume training early this week and be available for the home game against Newcastle next Sunday.
While Roar was forced to defend for much of Friday night's game, emerging midfielder Luke Brattan enhanced his rising reputation with another classy performance.
Although keen to take the pressure off Brattan, Mulvey believes the 23-year-old has the potential to become a dominant A-League player.
''I don't want anyone talking about him being a Socceroo and nobody talking about 'he's going to be signing for clubs in England', because he's still got an awful lot of development to do,'' Mulvey said.
''But he's somebody you want in the trenches with you.
''He was overlooked for a lot of representative sides [when he was younger].
''He is becoming a man now in a man's game. I couldn't be more delighted for him, but he needs to keep his feet on the ground.
''He's got a lot of developing to do and I can see him potentially pushing for domination of midfields throughout the whole of the A-League.''