Flores will play at Hindmarsh Stadium for Victory for the first time since leaving United, and is ready for whatever type of reaction awaits from Reds fans
|By LUKE SHEEHAN
Melbourne Victory star Marcos Flores said he has a lot of respect for former club Adelaide United, ahead of his first appearance back at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday since leaving the Reds.
The Argentine attacking midfielder claimed the Johnny Warren Medal playing in an Adelaide shirt in the 2010-11 A-League season, scoring nine goals in the process.
Flores, 27, said he will respect the fans' reception to him - whatever that may be.
"I'm expecting the people to express freedom, they can express what they want," Flores said on Wednesday.
"I am sleeping very peacefully every day in my bed, every night, because I gave them [Adelaide] everything... 110 per cent I gave to them.
"I am peaceful myself, my heart is with a lot of peace, but they can express what they want and I'm happy to receive."
Flores said he would also keep the local supporters at the forefront of his mind should he score.
"I always have the respect to their fans. And I hope to score, because I want to help my team, but it's not always going to happen," he said.
Ange Postecoglou's Victory turned their season on its head in recent times, winning five of their past seven matches since a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of champions Brisbane Roar.
Despite playing for the club with the biggest fan base in the A-League, Flores said he does not feel any additional pressure to churn out positive results.
"It's beautiful, pressure," he said.
"If that [winning for the fans] is how we call pressure, I want to have that pressure all my life. Pressure is living in Argentina, and [you] don't have good salary to feed your family - that is pressure.
"But I live a good life, and I am doing what I love and every team-mate is doing what we love, and we are in one important club, and we want to do our best."
That heavy loss to the Roar was winger Andrew Nabbout's debut, but if such a baptism of fire was meant to scare the teenager off professional football, it backfired heavily.
Since then, Nabbout scored a memorable match-winning brace to help Victory see off bitter rivals Sydney FC 3-2 away from home to write himself into club folklore, before also being on target in the club's 2-2 draw with the Central Coast Mariners.
But Nabbout said he knows he has a lot of hard work ahead of him to build his fitness to run out a full 90 minutes - something he is yet to do in the A-League.
"I've just got to slowly catch up to the guys as quickly as I can. I hope in the next few games to get these fitness levels up because I want to be at the levels of the other boys to keep up during the game," Nabbout said.
"In the last game, I found myself puffing in the first 20 minutes, so that can't happen throughout the season. I've just got to keep working hard, and listen to the coaches, and I'll get there very soon."
On when he thought he would be handed his first full match in Victory colours, Nabbout said that decision would come down to Postecoglou and also the availability of No.1 striker Archie Thompson.
"It depends, obviously on how the coaches see the game pan out. If I'm fatigued on 70 minutes, they'll take me off. But I hope to keep playing, and I hope to keep pushing to play 90 minutes," he said.
"Archie's back next week as well, so that puts a bit more pressure as well, but it's good - I like that challenge of fighting for my spot now."