Tomorrow night's FFA Cup match against Melbourne Victory represents the first step in a long road to success for Perth Glory, according to Tony Popovic.
The new Glory coach officially commences his reign with a first competitive match up against the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions.
Popovic says the clash will present a pertinent reminder of where the Western Australian side are in their evolution to become to the best.
Crucially, coming up against Melbourne - the Hyundai A-League's most successful club - offers Perth a picture of what they must emulate in order to reach the top.
“It’s a fantastic test against a club that expects to always win and that win very often, so that’s something that we should all embrace and look forward to and we’ll really see where we’re at this stage," Popovic told Perth's official website.
“Regardless of who plays for them you can expect a real spirit, a real fighting display from a club that you expect to see on a regular basis fighting for the title. For us that’s something we’re embracing.
“We want to be the best and we’ve started a process of improving and getting better and challenging for honours, we want to do that regularly. Victory are one of the benchmarks of the Hyundai A-League that do that on a consistent basis.
“Were still at the baby steps of trying to get there, but we're very happy as a club of where we sit right now, and we're hoping tomorrow that we can take another step by putting on a really good display against a top outfit.”
Popovic’s ambitions and high expectations have already begun to bed in at Glory, and his words will be music to the ears of the Perth faithful.
“We want to be the best and we’ve started a process of improving and getting better and challenging for honours, we want to do that regularly.”
Glory’s finish in the Hyundai A-League last season was their lowest in four years, while the side’s fortunes in the FFA Cup have dwindled since their back to back Final appearances in 2014 and 2015.
In Popovic, the club have landed a fearless and ruthless leader able to jolt Glory back among Australia's elite - and, importantly, maintain their position at the summit of the top flight.
“We want to be a side people fear when they come to Perth. You have to earn that – it’s easy to just say that but maybe tomorrow we can start that process.
“It doesn’t happen overnight but were on the right track in trying to achieve those things.
“That’s where we want to be – we want to be a club that is challenging for honours every year and not just having one successfully year and falling away.
“We want to be a club that is renowned for consistency tough team to beat, plays good football and a club that’s respected in Australia and everywhere out of Australia.
“They’re words at the moment, were taking steps towards our actions showing that and tomorrow is a great step for us to show the progress we’ve made.”