Sydney FC coach Frank Farina is still targeting the A-League title this season despite mixed pre-season results.
The Sky Blues have slumped to five straight losses to finish their pre-season, including being humbled by three-goal margins by Perth Glory, Brisbane Roar and Wellington Phoenix.
But Farina said the demands of being in charge of one of the competition's biggest clubs meant expectations were always high.
"This is a massive club," Farina said.
"We all have expectations and demands and those don't change year in, year out.
"Whoever you speak to in this seat at the beginning of the last eight years would be saying the same thing.
"It's not a club that you come to and say 'we'll just be happy to do well', it's a club that demands to do well."
Farina said his side would be ready physically for the A-League season opener against the Newcastle Jets at Allianz Stadium on October 11.
He said it was crucial for his side to make a strong start to the campaign but expects a very even competition.
"Every game is tough. Those first three games, whether it's any of the other nine teams, it's going to be very tight as it was last year," Farina said.
"To get off to a good start is fantastic if you can manage it as we saw with Central Coast last year.
"Not all 10 teams can win on the first day so that's something we've got to look at, but we hope to get off to a good start at home because obviously Brisbane away (in Round 2) is a big mountain to climb.
"They're a good side as well."