By Gabriel Tan
The Bruneian outfit saw off Balestier Khalsa 3-1 at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Thursday to ensure that there is no way second-placed Harimau Muda can catch them before the mid-season break.
But despite the fact his team are now widely considered as genuine title contenders, Simunic maintains he is still only aiming for a top-five finish in what he believes is the most competitive season of the S.League.
"This season's S.League is the best ever - now I know why it's ranked in the top ten of Asia," the Croatian said after Thursday's game.
"The target my bosses gave me is to finish in the top five, but I always aim for a bit more so maybe fourth or third will be good enough for me."
Simunic also believes the tough start to the second half of the campaign his side have been handed will pose a tough test to their title aspirations, as they play Tampines Rovers, SAFFC, Albirex Niigata and Harimau Muda in four of their first five matches after the break.
"We now have a horrible schedule in the next stage," Simunic added. "We have to play Tampines, SAF, Muda and Albirex [in the first five weeks after the break].
"We are only champions of the first stage, and that hasn't been easy."
Balestier coach Darren Stewart believes the 3-1 scoreline had been harsh on his team and was proud of the way they had tested their opponents for much of the game.
"Strange as it may seem, I don't think we got anything wrong tonight [Thursday]," the Australian tactician said. "We had a good go at them, we changed our system to 4-3-3 and we just kept going and going.
"I'm so proud of the boys, I thought they were tremendous in defeat and I defy anyone who tells me we deserved to lose 3-1.
"I'm extremely happy with the way we played. I'm not trying to mask a bad performance - I'm being honest."
With his squad already ravaged by injury, Stewart admits he may be forced to field a weakened side in their RHB Singapore Cup Opening Round game against SAFFC.
"We've got a couple of players from today's [Thursday's] starting XI that will struggle to be fit for the cup, one of them being Paul [Cunningham].
"He's been carrying a knee problem for awhile and although it's a big game, we're not going to risk him if he's not up for it.
"Our focus is on the league."
SAFFC themselves will be looking to get back to winning ways on Monday after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Geylang United on Thursday.