Gold Coast is in its best position for eight years, but "hungry" co-captain Jarrod Witts says it still has plenty to improve on.
Fresh from their mid-season bye, the SUNS are preparing to play Adelaide at Metricon Stadium on Sunday, trying to improve a 6-6 record that has them two games behind eighth-placed Collingwood (8-5).
The only other time they were a realistic chance to play finals at this stage of the season was in 2014, before Gary Ablett Jnr dislocated his shoulder and things went sideways.
Although the SUNS have a favourable draw ahead – including matches against the bottom five teams – Witts said they were in no position to look beyond Sunday.
"We'd love to play finals, there's no doubt about that," Witts told AFL.com.au.
"We've set ourselves up with a solid base.
"The last five weeks I think we've gone to another level around our contest and what that does for us as a team.
"It's a tough competition and we've got to keep bringing it. We're hungry."
Gold Coast won four of its five matches heading into the break, using pressure and keeping the ball trapped in its forward half as a blueprint for success.
Witts said the team's recent good run was built on "consistency across the board".
"I want to be stingy, there's still so many things we can improve on," he said.
"It's great we've given ourselves a chance, but by no means are we anywhere near it.
"We have to keep putting in and we're excited by that."