Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou has admitted marquee man Marcos Flores has ‘lacked his usual highlight reel’ since joining the club.
The 27-year-old Argentine joined Victory before the 2012-13 A-League season with huge expectation, having impressed at Adelaide United before a short stint in China.
The attacking midfielder has shown glimpses of his quality since joining Victory, but is yet to consistently put out the type of performance that marked his time with the Reds.
Flores scored the opener in Victory’s 2-0 win over Wellington Phoenix on Saturday, and held his hands to his ears in front of the home crowd in an apparent gesture of response to criticism.
But Postecoglou played down the celebration, revealing he was more than happy with Flores’ contribution this season.
“From our point of view, he’s been doing his job this year,” he said.
“The team’s going pretty well, which suggests to me he’s contributing to it.
“Now whether he puts too much pressure on himself or the crowd have bigger expectations, I’m not sure.
“From our point of view, it’s about him fulfilling his role within our structure, and I thought him and (Brazilian attacker Gui) Finkler have contributed to that this year.
“He’s probably lacked his usual highlight reel, but that could come at any time. He scored a really good goal today, and after the goal he was really good.”
Victory’s win extended Phoenix’s miserable run in Melbourne, with the New Zealand club having never won in the Victorian capital.
Postecoglou, however, said he had been wary of their visit.
“To be fair to them, they’re undermanned at the moment,” he said.
“They’ve pulled out a result when they’ve needed to, so I thought it was a bit of a danger game.
“But more importantly for us, after a disappointing one on Tuesday (in the loss to Western Sydney), we needed to bounce back and win tonight.
“The fact that we did and we were pretty solid the way through – maybe we could have had a few more goals – like I said, really pleased we were able to bounce back straight away.”