Melbourne Victory winger Kosta Barbarouses says he is happy the club’s philosophy has stayed similar in his second-stint, and believes the players are fully behind coach Kevin Muscat.
It will be the third Melbourne Derby of the season on Friday night and Victory have the chance to close the gap behind third-placed City, who currently sit four points in front of the Big V.
The pressure has been on Muscat this season and Victory managed to pick up a convincing 3-0 win over Adelaide United last week after being winless in five games.
Taylor Regan's own goal opened the scoring last week, before a Leroy George free kick blasted into the back of the net to make it 2-0 on the half-hour mark.
George and his teammates immediately ran to Muscat as the group shared a hug and Barbarouses was adamant all players were behind the Victory boss.
“We all could’ve done better in the last few weeks, I feel we all back each other up and you don’t do that unless you care about each other,” Barbarouses said.
“The performance that we put in after travelling and playing a tough match (in the Asian Champions League), we were overrunning them and that showed more than anything that we could… just the way Leroy banged the goal in and then he took off celebrating.
“I think it got everyone else up to react like that, the game was a reaction and everyone gave one… it was a positive one we needed.”
Barbarouses also used the 2015 and 2017 A-League grand finals as an example as to why he has faith in the boss.
“He’s got his own philosophy on how he wants to play the game,” he said.
“I’ve left and come back again, because I love the way we play here. I’m rapt it’s stayed similar, it’s sort of proven that it works.
“Victory have been in two grand finals in the last three to four years… it’s a great achievement, which has proven that what he’s doing is the right thing.”
Barbarouses also said he still gets excited for the Derby, despite them coming at least three times a season.
Former Victory man, now turned City midfielder Oliver Bozanic could potentially play on Friday night.
The Kiwi played alongside Bozanic in the 2015/16 season and he said he was looking forward to the clash.
“Players move around quite a bit in our league because of whatever reason, you have a year or two contract maximum or you come back from overseas and it’s a case of who’s looking for what sort of player,” Barbarouses said.
“It’s not anything against him for going there that’s for sure, it’ll be good to come up against him.
“He was always good to have in the dressing room while he was at Victory, he’s a good player and he’s probably got a bit to offer them as well.
“It’ll be interesting to see how he goes there.”