Having a week off from playing may have boosted Melbourne Victory, says their Caltex Socceroo attacker James Troisi.
Troisi highlighted the advantage of last week's match away to Wellington Phoenix being postponed due to the earthquake that tragically struck New Zealand's South Island, with the midfielder claiming Victory are "refreshed now" and ready to improve on a patchy start to the season.
"I think we needed [the week off]," he told reporters on Tuesday.
"We trained hard during the week, which we very rarely get to do. So we had some very tough sessions, worked on a lot and had the couple of days off, so we're refreshed now and looking forward to the game on the weekend."
Victory have scored 10 goals in their past three games to sit fifth in the Hyundai A-League with a game in hand.
And the former Italy-based Aussie believes something is "brewing" at Victory.
"You never want to start the season on fire anyway, you want to progress and build - that's the way I see it anyway," he said.
"Towards the end of the season, that's when you want to be on song."
Victory have had a somewhat disrupted start to the campaign with international call-ups and injuries meaning coach Kevin Muscat has yet to pick the same starting XI in consecutive games.
With German forward Max Beister having joined the squad last month and Marco Rojas having had limited time with Victory in pre-season, Troisi reckons last week's extra training - something that rarely happens during the course of a campaign - was ideal.
And with just one trip outside Victoria in their next six games, Victory are aiming to string some wins together after the surprise gift of a week off.
Victory host Newcastle Jets on Saturday then Perth Glory the week after before a trip north to face Western Sydney Wanderers.
Those three games are followed by a derby against Melbourne City plus two more home matches against Central Coast Mariners and the Jets.
It shapes as a vital point in Victory's season.
"We've started the season reasonably well but we've definitely got a lot to improve on... when we're on, we're on, so we want to continue to build on that into the season," Troisi said.