Melbourne Victory would sit comfortably atop the A-League ladder if Kevin Muscat's men could only play their best football more consistently, according to Kosta Barbarouses.
Second-placed Victory missed the opportunity to close the gap on Perth Glory when they suffered a 2-1 defeat at AAMI Park on Sunday.
The result put the Glory seven points clear with nine rounds remaining before finals, but Barbarouses feels the roles could easily be reversed.
"If we were performing to the best of our ability for 90 minutes I think we'd be 10 points clear on the ladder," Barbarouses told reporters on Tuesday.
"I think that's just the way football goes ... I don't think anyone has been that good this year ... it's pretty close.
"So I think we're doing well but we're not exactly where we want to be.
"I think the fact that we're finishing games strongly is a positive sign for us."
Sunday's win was Perth's second of the season over the Victory, following on from their 3-2 win in round two at the same venue.
Tony Popovic's side appears to be the main stumbling block for the Victory as they attempt to win back-to-back titles.
"It's disappointing to lose against them at home ... I think both games we've conceded sloppy goals," Barbarouses said.
"You don't want to let them think they've got any sort of mental edge - we don't think that.
"We've widened the gap to catch them, but we're still confident in the ability we have in the group that we can finish off the season strong."
The Victory fly out for New Zealand on Wednesday and will take on Wellington Phoenix at Eden Park on Friday night.
Australian Associated Press