Central Coast Mariners manager Phil Moss hailed his side's near-perfect performance against the Brisbane Roar on Saturday night which resulted in a 2-0 win and a guaranteed third-place finish in the A-League ladder.
With a crucial Asian Champions League clash against FC Seoul coming up on Wednesday, Moss maintained that competing in two competitions was actually a boon for the Mariners.
Defending with five across the back and relying on rapid counter-attacks, the Central Coast blunted Roar's passing game and were able to score a pair of well-worked goals in the first half, via Nick Fitzgerald and Anthony Caceres.
The Mariners coach was thrilled at the way his players carried out their task against the competition's top dogs.
"Probably as close you can get to perfect in a football game of 94 minutes," Moss said.
"But (I'm) just so delighted with the way the players stuck to the game plan and executed it.
"I came in on Tuesday morning and outlined the way I wanted to play against Brisbane this week, and it wasn't about Brisbane, it was about us, we're in two competitions and we need to be adaptable, and the way that the players embraced it, and the way the senior players drove it during the week, and by game night everybody knew their jobs and, I thought, played it out to almost perfection."
The Central Coast manager said the win over Brisbane would serve as a confidence booster for the side ahead of the A-League finals series and their crunch mid-week ACL fixture.
"This week was all about us," he said.
"It was about making sure our last performance of the regular season was very good and that we could take some confidence into the finals series and into the ACL game on Wednesday against Seoul.
"And I think to be successful in Asia, you have to be adaptable tactically, and we're coming up against a very good Seoul team on Wednesday night, so tonight was really about us adding another string to our bow."
After playing out three dead rubbers to finish the regular season, Roar coach Mike Mulvey says his team is ready to rediscover its best football heading into the finals series.
The Premier's Plate winners turned in an uninspired display in going down 2-0 to the Central Coast Mariners at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday, in a game which the visitors were able to nullify the Roar's usual free-flowing football.
Mulvey was quick to praise his counterpart, but also bemoaned his pragmatic methods.
"I want to give Phil Moss a lot of credit because I think he's done a great job at the Central Coast Mariners," Mulvey said.
"However, at the same time, I don't want to seem like I'm criticising, but it's a lot easier to spoil than create.
"And that's what they came to do tonight, and very clinically they got us on the counter-attack, and if you watch football from all over the world, that's a classic snatch and grab situation.
"They came here and they were very, very determined, incredibly disciplined, and they got us to do what they wanted us to do, and that is to play through the middle more often than not.
"We didn't really use the width as well as we could."