Bruce Djite has warned former club Adelaide United that balancing their upcoming AFC Champions League (ACL) commitments with a potential Hyundai A-League comeback will be "very difficult".
Djite, who was critical to Adelaide's premiership-championship double triumph in the 2015/16 Season, is confident Guillermo Amor's squad can drag themselves off the bottom of the A-League - "100 per cent they'll make finals" - but isn't convinced by the similarities between last term and this.
In both seasons, Adelaide registered their first win in Round 9 but Djite's previous ACL experience suggests to him that competing in two competitions will hurt the Reds' chances on the domestic front in 2016/17.
"I've done it two or three times in the past," he told Goal Australia.
"The Champions League and A-League together, it makes it very difficult to be top, top level on both fronts."
Djite left the Reds before this season to join Suwon FC in the K League.
During his two stints with Adelaide, he played in three ACL campaigns including when they reached the 2008 final.
The 29-year-old striker reckons playing in the ACL is so difficult that Adelaide benefitted when they lost their qualifying play-off to Shandong Luneng last year.
"You know, people are saying 'oh, we can repeat what they done last year, this was all the same statistics as last year' and all this sort of stuff," Djite said.
"I think with the Asian Champions League they have a massive - I don't want to say a hurdle but it's like the joker in a pack of cards. It'll make a big difference.
"If you look at Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC last year, the Champions League really damaged them. If you look at our season last year, maybe losing to Shandong in the qualifier was a blessing in disguise and allowed us to go on and win the double.
"So they're going to have to deal with Champions League this year."