Gold Coast United's Steve Pantelidis knew it was going to be a tough ask to remain undefeated in the club's first season. Before they had played a game, United owner Clive Palmer and others were calling for a season without a defeat but that quickly changed when the Newcastle Jets overcame them in round 4.
Now the Gold Coast club have dropped three games but have fought their way back to again be on top of the A-League table.
"It was always going to be very tough to go through the season undefeated, however, the club and players are very happy with the way we are travelling," the 26-year old told tribalfootball.
"We are continually working and training hard and if we continue to pick up points we should be involved in the final series.
"I believe any team can be title contenders. There is only 11 points difference from the top to the bottom teams."
When asked who he thought were Gold Coast's main challengers, Pantelidis included his former club in the mix and thought the standard of the overall competition had improved in recent times.
"I think Perth, Melbourne and Sydney will be there come the business end of the season. However, the league is very close so if a team goes on a winning run they can shoot up the ladder," he added.
"The standard of the A-League is definitely improving.
"When you get the likes of (Jason) Culina and (Robbie) Fowler coming into the league it definitely improves the standard. There is a lot of international players in the league which can only be positive for the A-League."
Pantelidis and Gold Coast will be hoping they can keep top spot when they take on Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium this Sunday.