Another spell of quarantine has done little to extinguish Wellington's concrete self-belief that a maiden A-League title is within their grasp.
The visitors will end two weeks of isolation at Sydney's Valentine Sports Park facility on Friday and begin the countdown for what they regard as their best chance to be crowned champions in 12 seasons of existence.
The form team before the COVID-19 lockdown, having logged four straight wins to climb into third place, the challenge for coach Ufuk Talay will be to rebuild what was working back in March.
He's got the same cattle at his disposal after star imports Gary Hooper and Ulises Davila chose to return from overseas.
The attacking duo will join the rest of the squad at a Sydney hotel this weekend, something defender Louis Fenton says will inject further stimulus.
"With them having families and still choosing to travel back from overseas, there shouldn't be an excuse for anyone else in the team. They're top players so it was a big boost," Fenton told AAP.
"For the first time in a long time, this is Wellington's chance to win something.
"Everyone's bought into that idea where if we can get our full team here, we should be able to give it a good go. We've discussed as a team that we want to win the whole thing."
Talay has one extra player to choose from in Fenton himself, whose season looked over when forced to undergo a reconstruction on each shoulder in November to stave off ongoing problems.
The injury-plagued All Whites international said retirement thoughts had entered his mind and marvelled at how a global pandemic had thrown up a chance to play again this season.
A starting berth at right fullback looks likely after Tim Payne, who replaced him in that position for four months, was banned for the next four matches following a drunken incident during the team's aborted Sydney quarantine in March.
"It's definitely been enough time now to get my fitness back and put my hand up for the first game back," Fenton said.
"This COVID has benefited me because I wouldn't have been able to play if the season had just gone along as it was meant to."
Australian Associated Press