Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John Aloisi believes the solid defensive foundation his side has established will be a catalyst for improved results in the Hyundai A-League – starting at Brisbane Roar this Sunday.
Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John Aloisi believes the solid defensive foundation his side has established will be a catalyst for improved results in the Hyundai A-League - starting at Brisbane Roar this Sunday.
While Aloisi-s team suffered its first defeat of the season in a 1-0 loss against Perth Glory at nib Stadium last Sunday, Aloisi remains upbeat ahead of the Round 4 clash, pointing to the promising defensive structure his side has created in the first three rounds.
Melbourne Heart troubled two teams touted as favourites for the Hyundai A-League title, thwarting Melbourne Victory in Round One, while the team had Central Coast Mariners by the throat before two refereeing decisions changed the game in Round Two.
Click play on the video below to watch the full press conference.
“We didn-t perform as well as we would have liked in Perth, but I was quite happy with the second half and the way we ended the game and that-s the type of football we have to play when we do play away from home,” Aloisi said.
“The positives are that we-re a hard team to beat and we will grow. We want to be a team that is not only tough to beat, [but] that is going to play good football, create a lot of chances and score a lot of goals.
“We know there is still [room for improvement], but we know we-re not far off because Melbourne Victory and the Mariners and two of the best teams in the league and I thought that we played well in both games.”
The Red and White-s next test is a trip to Suncorp Stadium to face a Roar side smarting from a 1-0 loss against Victory in Round 3 - but which also put Sydney FC to the sword in their last fixture on home soil.
While Aloisi is confident his side is in good shape to face the Hyundai A-League-s early pace-setters, he remains wary of Brisbane-s strengths.
“I think they-re going to be very similar to what they-ve been in the past,” Aloisi said.
“I thought they had a very good game against Victory the other night; they play great football, they move the ball very quickly and they wait for the right opening to penetrate.
“They don-t give you much time on the ball because they like to press as soon as they lose the ball, so I expect a tough game.”
Both teams have been hit by injury with Melbourne Heart missing Patrick Kisnorbo and captain Harry Kewell remains doubtful, while Brisbane will be without Besart Berisha, Liam Miller and potentially Shane Stefanutto.
However, Aloisi isn-t reading into either camp-s injury list.
“We believe that we-ve got enough depth [to cover] and I-m sure Mike Mulvey will feel the same,” Aloisi said.
“We won-t risk [Kewell] because we want to make sure once he gets back [from injury] he stays back, so I think it-s more of a 50-50 at the moment.
“If he-s not right to travel, then we won-t even take him.”
Melbourne Heart midfielder Massimo Murdocca believes a win against his former side would be the best way to bounce back from defeat in Perth.
“There-s no better way to go to Brisbane - one of the best teams in the competition - and try to make amends,” Murdocca said.
“I-m going to really enjoy the experience - it-s the first time I-ve played against my old team, so I-ll see how we go.
“Everyone knows how they play - they-ve been so consistent for the last two to three years and it-s no secret how they play, so we-re going to be prepared for them for sure.”
Match Details Sunday, 3 November 2013 Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Heart FC Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Kick-off: 4:00pm local (5:00pm AEDT) Referee: Lucien Laverdure Assistant Referee 1: Ashley Beecham Assistant Referee 2: Andrew Lindsay Fourth Official: Alan Milliner TV Broadcast: 4.30pm (AEDT) Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1HD and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand). Radio Broadcast: 612 ABC Brisbane, ABC Local Radio Queensland, 774 ABC Melbourne, ABC Local Radio Victoria, Grandstand Digital Brisbane and Melbourne Online/Mobile phone app. Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #BRIvMHT To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets
Brisbane Roar squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 2.Matthew SMITH (c), 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 10.HENRIQUE, 12.Julius DOE, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Diogo FERREIRA, 15.James DONACHIE, 17.Matt McKAY, 18.Luke BRATTAN, 19.Jack HINGERT, 29.Matthew ACTON (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 26.Corey BROWN, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 29.Kwame YEBOAH ***Two to be omitted*** Ins: Julius DOE (promoted), Diogo FERREIRA (promoted), Brandon BORRELLO (promoted) Out: Liam MILLER (calf - two weeks) Unavailable: Besart BERISHA (hamstring - one week), George LAMBADARDIS (knee - season)
Melbourne Heart FC Squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 3.Robbie WIELAERT, 5.Sam MITCHINSON, 6.Patrick GERHARDT, 7.Iain RAMSAY, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 10.Harry Kewell (Captain), 11.Michael MIFSUD, 14.Golgol MEBRAHTU, 15.David WILLIAMS, 16.Aziz BEHICH, 17.Jason HOFFMAN, 19.Benjamin GARUCCIO, 20.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 21.Stefan MAUK, 22.Nick KALMAR, 23.Mate DUGANDZIC, 25.Andrea MIGLIORINI ***Two to be omitted*** Ins: 10.Harry KEWELL (returns from injury), 5.Sam MITCHINSON (promoted), 19.Benjamin GARUCCIO (promoted), 22.Nick KALMAR (promoted) Outs: 28.Paulo RETRE (omitted), 24.Patrick KISNORBO (knee - 3 weeks) Unavailable: 4.Orlando ENGELAAR (Fractured tibia - long-term), 9.Dylan MACALLISTER (Hamstring - 3-5 weeks), 13.Jonatan GERMANO (Hamstring - three weeks)