The incentive of remaining in the Hyundai A-League finals race outweighed the scrutiny of a Manchester City supremo as a motivating factor in Melbourne City's 3-1 comeback win over Adelaide United, according to head coach John van 't Schip.
City hadn't won or scored in three matches going into their home clash with the Reds on Friday night, a run which had seen them slip out of the top six on goal difference.
Trailing going into the half-time break at AAMI Park, the players and coach didn't dwell on potentially incurring the disapproval of watching City Group executive Brian Marwood, who was in town for the unveiling of the club's new state-of-the-art training facility.
Result: Melbourne City FC 3 Adelaide United 1
Instead they channelled their energy into producing an impressive second-half fight-back, with goals from Safuwan Baharudin, Josh Kennedy and Iain Ramsay sealing an important victory.
"There's always pressure ... it's not because Brian is here, it's because of the position we're in," Van 't Schip said.
"And the position we're in, we all know, is critical in that sense - we want to be in the playoffs. A win is important.
"We showed that we're there, that we can compete with the best and even win. That should give the team a lot of morale for the coming games."
The City coach stopped short of agreeing with suggestions the result could prove a certain catalyst for a strong finish to the regular season.
"Every game you have to see as a different chapter," he said.
"We're going to have a massive week ... when we play Central Coast, Western Sydney and Newcastle in one week. We have to make sure every player is fit and rested. Hopefully we get some players back. Mate Dugandzic and James Brown are close."
Kennedy in particular was impressive again, notching his first City goal since joining as the club's domestic marquee, prompting Van 't Schip to praise the impact made by the experienced centre-forward.
"Josh could maybe have had two today," he said.
"His header was a trademark, we're happy he has the monkey off his back.
"Josh is important, he keeps defenders busy. He's available when we play a high ball, he can control, he can bounce it to players coming underneath.
"And also he showing going forward that he still has his awareness. He's only going to get fitter and better and helping the team more and more."