Melbourne Victory midfielder Marcos Flores admits he used to be jealous every time he came up against Ange Postecoglou's champion Brisbane Roar team.
Now he is coached by Postecoglou, Flores believes the Victory are growing into an outfit capable of emulating their coach's deeds at the Roar - and giving him an A-League championship three-peat.
"We are improving. You can see from the first week we are making steps forward every week," Flores said on Thursday.
"Even if for a couple of weeks we didn't get the three points, we were improving and improving and improving.
"I feel so proud to be honest. So proud of my teammates, so proud of our group because every team wants to improve, and we are doing it."
When playing for Adelaide United, Flores admits he looked longingly at how the Roar moved the ball under Postecoglou, and admired the attacking style he entrenched at the back-to-back champions.
Flores' move to the Victory after a year playing in China and Postecoglou's shift from the Roar to the Victory has united them - and the 27-year-old Argentine couldn't be happier.
After a slow start with the Victory, Flores is moving towards the sort of form which won him the competition's player of the year honours with Adelaide in 2010-11.
His spike in form has coincided with the Victory's.
The Victory are unbeaten in their past four matches, and have lost just twice in their past 14 to move ominously into the top two.
Their Melbourne derby on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium against the Heart looms as critical, with third-placed Western Sydney and fourth-placed Adelaide United just a point behind the Victory and playing each other this weekend.
Meanwhile, the Victory have signed teenage centre-half Nick Ansell, versatile Leigh Broxham and reserve goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas to new extended contracts.
Ansell and Broxham have agreed to three-year deals, while Thomas will stay with the club until the end of the 2014-15 season.