The high standards that Melbourne Victory set was one of the key reasons for Kosta Barbarouses returning to the club.
The 27-year-old returns for his second stint at Victory in 2017/2018, and is welcoming the pressure.
“Going into every game having to win, that’s the only option here,” Barbarouses explained.
“Setting those standards was a big thing for myself wanting to have more success as a football player.
“I want to have that expectation on myself and my teammates and everyone around the club.”
The lure of the Victory fans also played a key role in Barbarouses’ return.
It was one particular game from last season which the New Zealander was able to recall clearly.
“I remember one time here, we played Victory and the result didn’t go Victory’s way.
“The fans were still standing and doing my chant here. That was a pretty special moment and the fans have stuck by me even though I moved clubs.
“To be back with them, I want to work hard for them and be successful for the club and the fans because they’re a massive part of the family.”
With plenty of familiar faces around – ‘Bes wants me to have my old locker back, right next to him’ – the settling in process will be quicker than normal.
A longer pre-season break after appearing in the Confederations Cup for New Zealand means Barbarouses returns with a fortnight remaining before the Round of 32 FFA Cup clash against Brisbane.
It’s part of what is set to be a bumper year for Victory, with the AFC Champions League also on the horizon.
“Hopefully we can go on a bit of a run (in the FFA Cup) because it’s a great competition to win, like we’ve seen before, and it gives us a lot more preparation for the A-League as well with more quality games leading into the season.
“The A-League is going to be another tough one, Champions League the same, and for players we trust the coaching staff and the background staff to manage all that and keep everyone fresh.
“The two campaigns I’ve been here have been pretty spot on and we’ve done quite well, so expecting to reach new heights this year being back and set big standards.”