Barbarouses: ‘Things have clicked’

As Kosta Barbarouses prepares to make his A-League return for Melbourne Victory, he’s treating Saturday night’s Melbourne Derby as ‘his Round 1’.

The New Zealander missed Victory’s season opener against Sydney due to international duties, but is back fresh and ready to face City.

After a long pre-season back, it’ll be Barbarouses’ first A-League game for Victory in more than a year. However, it almost feels like he’s never been away.

“Things have really clicked straight away since I’ve been back,” Barbarouses told media on Thursday.

“I’ve gelled and settled in really well to the team.

“It’s an attractive place to come where you know there are expectations to win, there’s pressure amongst the group to win and that’s what I love personally.

“I want to go into every game expecting to win and anything less is not good enough.”

In watching Round 1 on ‘a bit of a dodgy stream at Singapore Airport’, Barbarouses came away enthused by how his teammates fared.

“Honestly, I tip my hat to the boys, they put in a massive performance,” Barbarouses said.

“We were really gutted – me, Millsy (Mark Milligan) and Jimmy (James Troisi) – that we couldn’t make the first game.

“The boys did everyone proud and put in a huge shift and conceded an unlucky goal to separate the game, but I think definitely didn’t deserve to lose.”

The silver lining to the defeat was how the games of several newer Victory faces make the team for this week that much harder to select.

“We don’t know who’s playing yet, because the boys played incredibly well last week,” said the 27-year-old.

“Anyone who’s not playing will probably feel hard done by, but that’s a testament to our squad strength.

“Everyone is raring to go and whatever team is out there is going to be a very strong team.”

In playing in five Derby victories, Barbarouses has had his fair share of happy memories. Two in particular stand out.

“I’ve had a few good memories, the 5-2 win earlier (in 2014-2015) and the semi-final win,” the winger said.

“You’d like to think you get up for every game equally but there’s definitely a few you look forward to on the calendar a bit more and the Derby’s a massive game for us.

“We’re expecting a massive crowd and I can’t wait to see all the fans out there.”