Out of the corner of his eye, Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau can see second spot and Asia – but he insists his focus is elsewhere.
Gombau’s Reds will take second spot on a cluttered A-League table with a home triumph against Melbourne Heart on Friday night.
Whether they can win and hold that position, which offers entry to the Asian Champions League, after other weekend games, remains unknown.
But Gombau isn’t budging from his season-long mantra: it’s all about building the Adelaide United project, rather than chasing the championship.
“If you finish in the top two you have the passport to play in the AFC, this is a big deal for us,” Gombau told reporters on Thursday.
“And to finish top two means you can play (A-League finals) at home and this is very important.
“But what I want is to go game by game because we can finish top two, but if we lose two games and the other teams win, we can not be in the finals.
“We don’t change what we say in the beginning: what is important is to build our project.”
Adelaide enter their fixture against the Heart in fourth spot with 37 points, one behind third-placed Western Sydney and two shy of second-placed Central Coast.
Melbourne Victory (fifth) also have 37 points as the league enter its penultimate round.
Adelaide’s Spanish playmaker Cirio will return from a hamstring strain as the Reds seek to extend an eight-game unbeaten stretch on home turf.
But Gombau said the Heart, despite being anchored in ninth and winless in their past four games, worried him.
“First worry, that my players don’t think that is an easy game,” he said.
“Melbourne Heart lost their last two games but they played against top teams Brisbane and Central Coast.
“But I saw their last five, six games and they start to have movement that they are doing every single game. When they do this, it’s because they know very well what they need to do.
“What we need to do is play our way and try to not make them feel comfortable here in our home.”