THE gap between the leaders and the also-rans in this season's A-League competition is getting wider by the week, but Brisbane Roar defender Shane Steffanuto doesn't think that reflects the difference between the top and bottom teams.
With just three wins and two draws from 12 games, last season's premiers sit in second last place, 16 points off the lead.
But speaking ahead of today's match against second-placed Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium, Steffanuto said he was confident the team's best would be good enough to return to Queensland with the crucial three points.
"The margins between success and failure are so small it's ridiculous," he said.
"But if you don't turn up (ready to play), you'll be punished."
The veteran defender said neither travelling to Adelaide nor playing on Boxing Day held any fears for the Roar which had traditionally taken on now-defunct neighbour Gold Coast on that day in recent years.
"We go down to Hindmarsh ... we've had good results, played well as a team there," Steffanuto said.
"It's a good stadium, good surface ... they get a good crowd. It's these games we look forward to."
While Brisbane is coming off an unlucky 1-0 loss to Perth at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday, the Reds will be smarting from a 6-1 thrashing at the hands of new boys Western Sydney last Friday.
As well as being desperate to get the points, Steffanuto said the players were keen to show new coach Mike Mulvey they were worthy of being considered in his future plans for the club.
"Everyone's future is uncertain. In a way you have to prove yourself again ... you have to impress the new gaffer," he said.
Mulvey didn't rule out personnel changes, saying he had look at the talent in the team and would "make the right changes for the football club".
"I'll do that unhesitatingly," he said.
The new man in charge said he understood why criticism was being directed at controversial out-of-form striker Besart Berisha, admitting competition for the Albanian's place in the team was a problem.
"My assertion is that we need two players in every position, pushing each other for that position," Mulvey said.
"And I don't think that Besart has that at the moment. There's nobody really breathing down his neck saying, 'I'm ready to take your place'."
Round 13 draw
Adelaide United v Brisbane
Wellington v Heart, Sydney FC v Central Coast, Perth v Wanderers
Melbourne v Newcastle
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