Western United coach John Aloisi had special praise for defensive duo Leo Lacroix and Tomoki Imai following the 2-1 win over the Newcastle Jets.
Western are priced at 5/4 to win the A-League minor premiership and a solid defence has been crucial so far as they sit at the top of the ladder.
The win moved Western three points clear at the top while they still have a game in hand over Melbourne City in second place.
Lacroix has been a crucial addition to the Western ranks. The central defender has been a rock at the back but can also chip in with a goal, just like he did on Saturday when firing home a brace.
The Swiss ace managed to get on the end of Ben Garuccio’s corner to head home the opening goal in the 16th minute of the game, and then made it 2-0 from another corner in the 52nd.
"He was very good. Really good," Alosi said of Lacroix after the game. "He's a centre back, so we have to make sure that he does his job first as a centre back. Not only without the ball but with the ball in helping us with our build-up. But he was comfortable."
Aloisi also had praise for Imai who put in another solid performance at right-back as United kept a fiesty Jets attack at bay.
"(Imai's) great to have around the group," Aloisi added. "His values are all that we want as a football club.
"He works hard every day. He's together with the group whether he plays or doesn't play. I couldn't ask for a better professional than Tomoki."