Two weeks after Besart Berisha stared down Mark Rudan as he reluctantly made his way from the Central Coast Stadium pitch, Western United's striker and coach are feeling the love again in the A-League.
After scoring two goals against former club Melbourne Victory in United's breakthrough 3-1 win at GMHBA Stadium, Berisha admitted the previous three weeks - in which the team lost three games on the bounce and failed to score - had taken a toll on the playing group.
The striker said in the lead-up to the Victory game that the club's senior players had taken the situation by the scruff of the neck and changed the dressing room atmosphere.
"This week, a lot of love, I promise you. Honestly, the last three weeks, not," Berisha said.
"It was a really difficult situation. A lot was said - a lot. We talked (about) a lot of things.
"But I'm happy this week was so much love, we are back to this - what we had in the beginning - like a team, like a family and I enjoyed it personally. I really enjoyed this moment and I hope we keep it going, this momentum."
Berisha said his tense moment with Rudan - which he later apologised to his coach and teammates for - was in the past.
"My frustration was more that I'm really angry that I cannot step up and help the team," he said.
"And then in this moment of heat I got changed up and these things were coming together
"It's not like I want to show aggression to the coach because this is the coach who brought me and I wanted to be here."
After scoring his second goal, Berisha made a point of running to the bench and embracing both Rudan and his teammates.
"We had such a tough three weeks; not scoring, losing, arguing," he said.
"A little bit of love today ... honestly, I needed to show a little bit of love today.
"I mean we deserved that and I think this win was so important for us as a club, as a team."
Rudan emphasised he and Berisha had well and truly and moved on from their stare-down and praised his striker for his response on the pitch.
The United coach said the post-goal hug represented the team's "togetherness" and expected Berisha - who had limited game time at J.League club Sanfrecce Hiroshima before joining United - to only get better.
"He's got a likeability factor as far as I'm concerned because he's everyone's archenemy - and I love that," Rudan said.
Australian Associated Press