Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks can pinpoint the reason why Gold Coast has emerged as AFL threat.
"It's time, isn't it," he said ahead of Adelaide's away clash against the Suns on Sunday.
"When you look at the Gold Coast ... it was only a matter of time.
"It's no surprise they are in the position they are at the moment, they're playing some great footy.
"We are really confident that we will be there too, given the time, we're patient about that process and we don't try and rush it."
The 11th-placed Suns enter Sunday's fixture as hot favourites against Nicks' Crows, who are in 15th spot with just four wins this season.
"They (the Suns) have always been the same side they are ... it takes time to play at the level," Nicks said.
"It takes time to learn from making mistakes.
"And we're working our way through that at this point. I feel like we're coming out the other side."
While identifying the time to develop and mature as behind the Suns' emergence, Nicks can also undertstand the "glaring" reason why the Crows continue to struggle.
"We have got complete clarity on what it is we are not getting right or our areas to work on," he said.
"Our area that we're working on is that execution and finish in front of goals but also execution around the ground ... it's clear as day, we are not executing when we need to."
And Nicks said finding that polish would be a challenge under the Suns' pressure.
"Stoppage does become really important because Gold Coast have been outstanding in that area ... right up there with the best in the competition," he said.
"And then being able to keep it in their front half has been a weapon for them. "We know what it is we have got to get right, it's just a matter of doing it.
"When you look at a lot of their (Gold Coast) games, they have been really strong in their workrate, the way they work off-ball to outnumber, the way they win one-on-ones in the contest as well.
"It's going to be a big challenge for us, really big challenge, on their home deck.
"But that is what we love because we rate ourselves in contest as well."
© AAP 2022