In-form Barbarouses focused on team job

Melbourne Victory forward Kosta Barbarouses is in a rich vein of form of late.

On Sunday he registered his 10th goal of the season – becoming the sixth player in the league to double figures – and has netted six times in the past five matches. 

“I think [my form] has been good,” Barbarouses said on Tuesday.

“I’m playing more centrally, sometimes a bit wider recently, but I want to do my job for the team first and foremost.

“I had an initial objective that I set myself, which was to get double figure [goals] for the year, so it’s time to set new targets – not just for myself, but to help the team.”

Barbarouses’ late strike on Sunday set up a grandstand finish for the 25,071 inside AAMI Park, though the visiting Glory ultimately held on to claim all three points. 

The Kiwi and his teammates aren’t dwelling on the result, however, choosing to look forward to this weekend.

“Obviously disappointing [to lose], but straight away attention turns to another big game on Friday night against Wellington, who are doing really well this year.

“They’ve been strong both home and away, so we can’t dwell on [Sunday] for too long, things change pretty quickly in football. We need to be as ready as we can be for Friday.

“We’re still confident in the ability we have and the group we have here to finish off the season strongly.”

The Phoenix have pushed Melbourne Victory on both occasions the sides have met this term, with the sides playing out an entertaining 1-1 stalemate on December 28 and thrilling 3-3 draw just weeks later on January 20th

Barbarouses says as dangerous as the hosts are he and his teammates will worry about getting their own performances right first and foremost. 

“They’re a dangerous team with some threats we need to worry about, but we have to concentrate on our own brand of football, the way we want to play and the way we’ve set up to play from the beginning of pre-season.

“We’ll back our ability and ourselves.”

The New Zealand native quelled any talk of the quick turnaround affecting the team, even when coupled with the international flight.

“Five days is plenty of time. We’re professional here, it’s more than enough to be honest.

“The flight is what it is, we deal with it, we’ve got all the tools to recover and we’ll hit the training ground when we get there; I relish playing more games than not.”