Popovic: Victory are form side

Sydney FC skipper Tony Popovic says competition leaders Melbourne Victory remain the team to beat this season.

Sydney FC skipper Tony Popovic says competition leaders Melbourne Victory remain the team to beat this season.

A day after Victory coach Ernie Merrick declared his current line-up superior to the side which swept all before them in the Hyundai A-League 2006/07 Season, the former Socceroos stalwart agreed Melbourne has set the early standard.

But the fiery defender warned his southern rivals not to get too comfortable just yet.

"There's only eight teams in this competition so I'm sure that even Perth at the moment will be saying they can still make the top four," Popovic said.

"So it just shows you how close it is, a couple of good results, you win two on the bounce and all of a sudden you jump right up."

"But in terms of how they've performed so far judging on the first seven games, you'd have to say that Melbourne's definitely at the moment the one to beat, but things change quickly in football."

Asked if the Sky Blues, who currently sit in second spot two points adrift of Melbourne have yet to hit top gear, Popovic sent a stern warning to the competition.

"No I don't think so actually, I think we've still got a bit to go," he said.

"What has been good is we think we can do better but we've picked up results along the way, we got a great point on the weekend due to character and determination."

"There's areas that we can do better and that's what keeps a team going, we've raised the bar high this year and we're still on the upward trend but we've still got a bit to go."

Pressed for specifics, Popovic was giving very little away.

"We as a team know what we need to do in certain areas and Kossie's (coach John Kosmina) made that clear, we're pleased with where we're at at the moment but know there's more improvement to come."

The Sky Blues begin a tough three week stretch that includes meetings with Melbourne and the Mariners when they face a desperate Perth Glory in Perth on Sunday week.

Speaking at the end of a gruelling week on the training pitch, Popovic promised his side won't underestimate the bottom-placed Glory.

"Like all teams and as Wellington showed against us once they scored in the second half, the belief comes back into the players and they look a decent side," he said.

"And we know the same will happen with Perth, we can't let them get the momentum and let the crowd get behind them."