Barbarouses enjoying challenge of new role

Kosta Barbarouses says he is enjoying his role in Kevin Muscat's new-look formation, despite back-to-back defeats to open the 2018/19 season.

Sunday night's clash with Perth, which was decided by a late Chris Ikonomidis winner, was Barbarouses' 100th Hyundai A-League match for Victory.

The Kiwi international has been used as part of a front two so far this season, a slight shift from previous years where he has been utilised as a winger.

“I really like it, I think it’s a great position for me,” Barbarouses said.

“Obviously it’s a new role… I think it (the new formation) is really positive and at times tonight it was good.

“It’s hard to say that with two loses it is going well, but I think its some of the best stuff we’ve played in the last two years, to be honest.”

Over his 100 A-League games in navy blue, Barbarouses has become known for his tireless work rate and eye for an important goal, both of which have gone a long way towards making him a fan favourite. 

He described reaching the milestone as a "special" moment in his career.

“It’s a real privilege (to reach a milestone) because you know the quality of the club; you know if you’re not doing your job there are always people who want to come in and play for Melbourne Victory.

“Hopefully I’ve repaid the club and the fans with my efforts, I always try to do my best out there and obviously wanted to win tonight, but things don’t always go to plan.”

In light of the milestone, Head Coach Kevin Muscat reserved special praise for his number nine.

“He’s scored a lot of goals and sacrificed a lot of his own game in terms of starting the press and being aggressive… he’s had an unbelievable knack of scoring big goals for the club.

“The way we play and set up is to get Kosta exciting the crowd and the second half was evidence of that. Get the ball in the right areas and keeping it there, allowing him to be his menacing best.

“He’s been an outstanding servant of the Club with plenty still to offer.”

As for the moments that stick foremost in his mind, Barbarouses called out the FFA Cup Semi-Final win against cross-town rivals Melbourne City - in which he scored a marvellous volley - and subsequent success against Perth in the final.

And of course there are the Grand Finals he has helped win, with goals in last season’s classic semi-final clash against Sydney and championship-decider never to be forgotten. 

“It’s the moments you’re successful. You don’t get to take everything in while you’re going through it, but once its in the past you can reflect on all the hard work paying off.”