Newcastle Jets gun Andrew Nabbout believes it's hard for young players to make the grade at his ex-club Melbourne Victory because of the expectation.
Nabbout broke on to the scene as a 19-year-old in 2012, scoring twice in the second-half as Victory fought from two goals behind to beat Sydney 3-2.
However his career never took off in Melbourne, and he was eventually released after the club's 2014-15 A-League championship win - having only played 35 minutes during the campaign.
Ahead of Friday night's blockbuster between the Victory and Jets at AAMI Park, Nabbout stressed there is no bad blood between him and anyone at his former club, but he feels it's difficult for youngsters to get an opportunity and that's the reason why so many move on.
"For any young player it’s always going to be difficult at a club of Victory’s size because they have to win every week," Nabbout told Goal.
"The year that I got less game time at Victory was the year they won the championship and you saw the quality attacking players at the club then.
"Any coach is going to put out their strongest 11 to win every week because that’s what is expected and I accepted that.
"But it’s going to be tough for any young player as you have seen by a lot of the young players who have left there."
The 25-year-old had a spell in the Malaysian top flight after departing Victory, scoring nine goals in 12 games, before being given an A-League lifeline by the Jets at the start of last season.
Since returning to Australia, Nabbout has become an attacking force in the Hunter and after scoring six goals and assisting five in 12 matches, critics are calling for him to be considered for Socceroos selection.
The player admits he took things for granted at Melbourne Victory and struggled when the situation got tough, but the lessons learned from that experience are the catalyst for his current top form.
"My time at Victory was obviously tough as a young player not getting any game time," Nabbout said,
"When they brought in players I didn’t know what to do cause I wasn’t playing as much as what I was.
"This time around (at the Jets) I know not to be complacent because at some points I kind of got a little bit comfortable at Victory.
"I took everything I learned about myself in Malaysia and worked that extra little bit to get ahead – so far at Newcastle it’s worked."
The Jets got a 4-1 win when the two teams met earlier this season in Newcastle, with Nabbout getting two goals against his old club.
When asked if he felt the goals were revenge for the Victory releasing him, Nabbout said it was more about gaining confidence and proving he belongs as a quality player.
"It wasn’t so much payback. There is no bad blood between me and anyone at the club," he said.
"Sometimes it’s good to prove to yourself that even though things didn’t work out before, that you deserve to be where you are."