Sydney FC forward Kosta Barbarouses says he never lost faith in his goalscoring abilities despite failing to find the back of the net for over a year in the A-League.
New Zealand international Barbarouses scored a double on Monday night to give Sydney a 2-1 win over former employers and hometown club Wellington Phoenix.
The 30-year-old - who has found the back of the net from the penalty spot against Western Sydney Wanderers this season - last scored a goal in open play against Melbourne Victory on January 24, 2020.
The departure of ex-Premier League marksman Adam Le Fondre has elevated the goal-scoring responsibility for Barbarouses this season, and having haunted Phoenix with a brilliantly-dispatched double, the Kiwi looks fit again to carry that mantle - particularly with Brazilian star Bobô still to be wedded back into the Sky Blues frontline.
"I always want to score every game that I can to help the team but it hasn't been falling for me," Barbarouses told FOX Sports.
"I always work hard every day at training. You make your own luck and I knew it was always going to turn around.
He added: "I've gone through patches before, 15 games before and ended up scoring five or six in a row and gone on to win the Championship.
"So you've always got to back yourself. Maybe for a young player it's a lot to deal with. I've been around for a little bit and I know how to deal with it - just work hard every day.
"I always back myself."
Barbarouses' double moves Sydney FC third and maintains a peerless record against the Ufuk Talay-managed Phoenix.
Sydney FC have only lost once to the New Zealanders since 2016/17, while Talay is yet to defeat former boss Steve Corica, with whom he helped navigate the Sky Blues' 2018/19 Championship win as Assistant Coach.
Corica said: "I'm delighted for Kosta. I've always got great belief in Kosta to score goals. I knew it was going to come, it was just when. I think he's turned up tonight at the right time.
"We've been working extremely hard on his finishing and it's all about confidence."
Western United v Sydney FC
Saturday 13 February, 2021
Kick-off: 5.05pm AEDT
Venue: AAMI Park
Broadcast: FOX Sports, ABC TV
Stream: MyFootball App, Kayo Sports