After two rounds of the 2014-15 A-League season, Perth Glory sit all alone on top of the table with a perfect record of six points.
While it is pointless to read anything into ladder positions at such an early stage, it is worth asking the question of whether the team from the west are set for a big improvement on their eighth-place finish last time around.
It feels like a long time has passed since Perth was one of the country’s leading clubs. The halcyon days of the early-2000s are long gone, but manager Kenny Lowe has instilled an air of positivity around his side that has only been reinforced by a flying start to the campaign.
Whether that means the Glory will be a contender for the championship this season remains to be seen, though Lowe himself is keen to keep things low-key.
“It’s two games, let’s not get carried away,” Lowe said after his side’s 3-2 win over defending champions Brisbane Roar on Sunday.
“It’s a funny old game, football.
“When you’re up you just keep getting the ball sometimes and when you’re down, you know you’re down so it can swing very quickly so we’re just going to stay balanced.
“It’s a process-driven project … whether (our season) goes north or whether it goes south, nothing will change but we won’t get carried away.”
Like Josep Gombau was at pains to point out last season at Adelaide United, Lowe wants it to be known that his Glory team are still a work in progress.
If ambitions are low for this campaign, the manager can be even more pleased with the positive start.
The fact he has recruited a striker who promises to make plundering competition points all the more easy over the next few months also augers very well for the coach’s development plans.
Ireland international Andy Keogh has racked up four goals in two games for the Glory, including an impressive hat-trick against Brisbane.
There’s nothing like having a striker you can rely on to win games for you when all else fails. If Keogh continues to bang them in, Lowe should be able to go about his business without too much pressure.
The former Millwall man echoed his manager’s sentiments when asked this week about Perth’s bright start.
“We’re looking good at the minute, but it’s a long season with a lot of tough games,” Keogh said.
“We can’t get carried away with ourselves. We’ll just move on to the next game, and the one after that, and see where it takes us.”
He also indicated that an intensive pre-season was part of the reason for the club’s early success.
“At the start of the season we’d have done 50 more sessions than the team did the previous season,” he continued.
“That shows the amount of work we’ve been doing.
“And obviously the player recruitment as well, a lot of work went into that.”
Don’t expect Perth Glory to be sitting atop the A-League ladder by season’s end. That’s not to say that their early-season form is a fluke, or that they haven’t earned their six points so far.
A finish anywhere in the top six would be a huge achievement for Lowe, but even if they fall short of that, it is already clear he is building a very solid platform for the club.
Given time, Perth is on the right track to return to its former glory.