Melbourne City coach Michael Valkanis.
Melbourne City coach Michael Valkanis. JULIAN SMITH

Valkanis focused on the here and now

FOOTBALL: Caretaker Melbourne City coach Michael Valkanis will have no divided loyalties when he takes his team to play against old side Adelaide United tonight.

The 42-year-old played 77 times for the Reds as a central defender before taking up coaching roles between 2010 and last year after the end of his playing career in 2009.

Valkanis said while he still had a soft spot for the club, his focus was on getting three points for Melbourne City.

"I spent a big portion of my playing and coaching career in Adelaide. A lot of people think I am an Adelaide boy,” the Melbourne-born Valkanis said yesterday.

"To be quite honest I loved every moment of being in Adelaide as a player and a coach.

"I was accepted that much there, I virtually did become one of their boys.

"I have a lot of respect for the supporters there and the club but at the end of the day - that's what you like about football and sport - I am now at Melbourne City and I absolutely love being here and we've got a good team and we've got an opportunity of going there and we need the three points.

"I am calm and comfortable in going back and just focusing on what I need to do for the team and get the best out our players to get the result we need.”

Valkanis said he had had no discussions about his future at the club and was only concentrating on doing his best.

"I can only live in the now,” he said.

"I can't live in the past, I can't think about the future because then I will have a problem tomorrow and tomorrow is a very important game.

"I have been lucky enough I have been given the opportunity and I love that and respect that and that's all I can focus on.

"The powers that be will decide on what has to be done.

"For now I have got the responsibility of making sure the team plays good football and we get results.”

Valkanis said he knew what to expect from Adelaide after spending the best partof the last 13 years at the club.

He said while the Reds were bottom of the ladder they would still provide stiff competition tonight.

"They are in a difficult spot and they are very dangerous,” he said.

"We can't think that it's going to be an easy game just because the table says they are on the bottom of the ladder.

"All I know is that they are dangerous and that's the message to our players.

"Having played in Adelaide and having coached in Adelaide, I know that when there is a tough period, players do lift and it becomes a really cauldron-like mentality.

"I am sure that behind the scenes they will be talking about tomorrow as do-or-die.”