EXCLUSIVE: Brisbane Roar midfielder Ivan Franjic believes the club is beginning to reap the rewards of a full pre-season under manager Mike Mulvey.
Mulvey, 43, took over from Rado Vidosic at the end of 2012 and was appointed the full-time coach of the team in February of this year.
Roar have enjoyed a fruitful start of the season with five wins from their opening seven games including victory over the previously undefeated Wanderers last Friday to claim top spot.
Franjic believes the rewards for a hard-working preseason are already beginning to show as the club looks to build on their strong start to the campaign.
“It’s been a great start, but the other week we lost to Newcastle which was a big disappointment,” Franjic said.
“To hit straight back against Western Sydney was a big confidence boost and it shows that the young boys have really stepped up over the past few weeks.
“Whenever you’re on top and you have five wins from the first seven games you would have taken that at the start of the season.
“We just have to keep doing what we’re doing and hopefully open up a bit of a gap on the league.
“I think it’s been our hard working pre-season, and all the extra yards the boys have put in the rewards are starting to pay off.”
Franjic scored Brisbane’s second goal in their 3-1 win over the Wanderers last Friday with arguably the goal of the round.
“It sat up nicely in the end,” Franjic said. “When I got the ball from Henrique I had only one thing on my mind and that was to shoot so it was good that it came off in the end.”
The 23-year-old played a full 90 minutes in the Socceroos friendly against Costa Rica last Tuesday and has cemented himself as a strong chance to be called up to the World Cup finals in Brazil next year.
“Whenever a new coach comes it’s always fresh air and everyone wants to really prove themselves as a starting 11 player,” Franjic added.
“So with Ange (Postecoglou) he won’t let anyone slack off which is good and hopefully it’s the start of many big things to come for the country.
“He’s going to pick players on form and he knows every player back to front in the A-League and I’m sure he’s worked with many of the boys overseas.
““I’ve just got to keep the form going at club level and if I’m lucky he’ll choose me.”
But for the moment all Franjic says he needs to be concentrated on is Perth Glory.
“We’re taking it one game at a time but if we win the next few games then we can always set ourselves up to have a strong finish to the season and hopefully finish in the top-two and get another home final,” he said.
“Back at training this week everyone was working hard again. We just have to keep up the hard work and stay grounded. If we keep playing the way we are playing then the results will follow.
“There’s a lot of teams like Melbourne Victory and Central Coast that are going to be up there.
“In the A-League with the salary cap any one team can beat anyone on their day you can’t really take any team lightly.”