Adelaide United coach John Kosmina expects Friday's friendly with fierce rivals Melbourne Victory in Tasmania to have added "spice" due to Marcos Flores.
Adelaide United coach John Kosmina expects Friday's friendly with fierce rivals Melbourne Victory in Tasmania to have added 'spice' due to Marcos Flores.
Flores, a former beloved cult hero with Adelaide, joined the Victory in July after a stint with Henan Jianye in China.
After departing the Reds at the conclusion of the 2010/11 Hyundai A-League season following a breakdown in contract negotiations, Flores signed with the Chinese Super League side.
The Argentine spent an unhappy spell with the club before electing to return to the A-League.
Adelaide were unable to negotiate a deal with Flores and the 26-year-old opted to join Victory on a two-year deal.
Friday's pre-season clash will be the first time Flores dons the 'big V' against his former employers.
But while the focus will centre on Flores, Kosmina preferred to deflect attention away from the transfer debacle.
The 56-year-old said he was more concerned with his side enjoying another solid hitout as they continue to build towards their AFC Champions League quarter-final tie against reigning Uzbek league champions Bunyodkor on September 19.
"Obviously because its Melbourne Victory there's going to be more to it than just a friendly ... especially with the Marcos issue there will be that little bit of extra spice," Kosmina said.
"There's always a little angst between the two clubs which is great but this game is more about getting our processes right and getting through 90 minutes against good opposition.
"It's fodder for the media and you can pump it up as much as you want, but from the team's perspective and club overall, Marcos went to Melbourne - it's no big deal.
"The fans want to wage a campaign against him when he gets here that's all well and good, but from our perspective we don't really care."
Kosmina also rejected suggestions his players would target Flores, but joked he may re-ignite an old feud with Victory assistant coach Kevin Muscat.
The pair were involved in of the more infamous scuffles of the heated interstate derby when Kosmina choked Muscat - then a Victory defender - during his first stint in charge of Adelaide United after being knocked off his sideline chair by the former Socceroo.
"We want to get stuck into all of them ... If I told them to get stuck into anyone it would be 'Muscy' on the bench but I think that might be left for me," Kosmina laughed.
Adelaide travels to the Apple Isle on the back of a convincing 2-1 victory over Melbourne Heart on Tuesday night.
A Dario Vidosic double, including a spectacular long-range effort, either side of a Golgol Mebrahtu equaliser in the first half ensured Adelaide were victorious.
Kosmina experimented heavily with a line-up missing recent Argentine signings Marcelo Carrusca and Jeronimo Morales, and experienced midfield duo Fabian Barbiero and Zenon Caravella, and said he will do the same against the Victory on Friday.
"Mixing it up and changing a few players into different spots worked out all right because we were a little bit down on numbers," Kosmina said.
"Iain Fyfe went to play at the back with Jon McKain which was the first time we've actually partnered those two.
"Dario (Vidosic) played inside, Cam Watson played higher up the park than he normally does, so overall the experimentation aspect was good and we will continue with that in Tasmania."
Carrusca will again miss out with a calf injury along with Caravella who is still recovering from a hip flexor complaint, while Morales must wait for FIFA clearance to play.
Captain Eugene Galekovic, who suffered a corked thigh in Tuesday's win, remains in doubt.