Western Sydney import Oriol Riera is rising to the challenge posed by the A-League club's new arrivals with a double strike in the Wanderers' 4-1 win over Brisbane Roar.
The Spaniard scored a wonderful right-foot volley before benefiting from a VAR review that overruled an offside as the Wanderers overcame an early Roar goal on Friday night for their third win in four matches.
Roar young gun Dylan Wenzel-Halls had fired the home team into an early lead at Suncorp Stadium but that was it for the hosts.
Mitchell Duke marked his first Wanderers start with a 15th-minute long-range strike that squirmed under Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young before Riera's double-strike gave the visitors a 3-1 half-time lead.
Roly Bonevacia's injury-time goal in the dying moments of the match added some gloss to the result.
Wanderers coach Markus Babbel believes the arrivals of Duke and former Roar attacker Kwame Yeboah have played a big part in motivating Riera, who has eight goals for the season.
"He also feels the pressure now -- we have options now," Babbel said of Riera's form.
"If you see our bench today, I can bring in Kwame. I can bring in Giancarlo [Gallifuoco]. I can bring in Bridgey [Mark Bridge]. He was out for nearly eight months, and you see this experience, this quality that he has -- you miss this as a team ... we have more quality now."
The pressure to maintain standards was also behind Babbel's decision to omit attacking midfielder Alexander Baumjohann from his matchday squad.
The German import, after a difficult season in the A-League, was left out after failing to impress in training.
"I wasn't happy. I was talking to him, 'I was not happy with your week'. It was not enough for me because now I have these options," Babbel said. "I hope I can see a reaction next week."
The Wanderers next face sixth-placed Wellington in New Zealand with the gap to a finals berth just eight points before the Phoenix take on Central Coast on Saturday in Gosford.
Babbel isn't ruling out his team sneaking into the finals given their recent form.
"I think it was 10 games to go, I said 'we can't give up now' ... we had a good chat about this and we said 30 points is still there," he said.
"We have to try everything but think from game to game."
Brisbane interim coach Darren Davies said his undermanned team had started brightly but just didn't do enough to protect the ball in their disappointing first half.
"We scored a great goal ... I thought 'well, that's a really positive start' but, thereafter in the first half, we didn't pass the ball as well as we could," Davies said. "We weren't as good as we want to be tonight."
The Roar's next game is on the road against Melbourne Victory.