There's a growing sense at Melbourne Victory that a fourth A-League title is there for the taking in Saturday's grand final, but the club's chairman has rebuked fans that see the result as manifest destiny.
"We've won nothing yet," Anthony Di Pietro told AAP.
And truth be told, Victory haven't looked like winning anything all season.
That is, until the final two months.
Victory claimed just two wins from their opening 10 rounds, sitting outside the top six and facing the prospect of a long, tough summer.
Coach Kevin Muscat improved fortunes around Christmas with a stirring derby success and a home win over grand final opponents Newcastle.
In January the club lost title-winning captain Mark Milligan and loyal servant Jason Geria.
The malaise returned in February, when a three-game losing streak had boos ringing around AAMI Park as Victory looked like missing the finals.
It was Di Pietro who told a Victory business gathering that the club's season was "not acceptable" at the same time as Muscat's contract was due for assessment.
Behind the scenes Di Pietro had faith, telling AAP he never seriously considered bringing in a new coach despite whispers at the time to the contrary.
"Kevin's contract was no secret, it was up at the end of the season," he said.
"We made it clear early we wanted to work through Kevin's re-signing and we never wavered off that.
"There was a hell of a lot of noise around but the noise doesn't always know all of the facts.
"You review everything and with any key employee you look at the performance. Kevin's performance speaks for itself. There's no opinion in this, we deal with fact.
"We're in our third grand final in how long, four years? God almighty! I don't know too many clubs that wouldn't want a coach that could deliver that."
Somewhat counter-intuitively, it was the added responsibility of an Asian Champions League campaign that helped turn Victory's A-League fortunes around.
Di Pietro has never hidden his ambitions for Victory to become a continental powerhouse - after all, it was Ernie Merrick's failure to perform in Asia that cost him his tenure as Victory coach eight years ago.
So he was delighted by the uptick in Victory's domestic performances that came with a spirited but ultimately unsuccessful Asian effort.
And he's eager to re-enter the competition by winning the grand final and knocking out Melbourne City from the coveted slot.
"Absolutely it would be sweet," he said.
"Asia has played a big part in helping us along this season.
"It's going to be difficult. We're up against a very powerful Newcastle Jets and absolutely we'd love to have the opportunity once again.
"We've had a couple of false starts in Asia. We've shown promise and then just at the last hurdle we've missed out on opportunities. We certainly want to have another go.
"The group is now so united and determined to do it."