Aloisi welcomes unusual scenario

Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John Aloisi has welcomed the unusual scenario of a near full-strength squad ahead of a stern Brisbane Roar test at AAMI Park tomorrow afternoon.

Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John Aloisi has welcomed the unusual scenario of a near full-strength squad ahead of a stern Brisbane Roar test at AAMI Park tomorrow afternoon.

Naming an unchanged team across consecutive games has been a luxury for Aloisi in his inaugural season, but the Heart boss has been relieved this week he was finally facing a ‘good- selection headache ahead of the round 15 match.

Aloisi made six changes ahead of the Jets clash, but may opt for a more settled side this week, with keeper Andrew Redmayne likely to retain the number one spot between the posts, despite growing competition for starting berths.

“Some of the changes were forced the week before [against Wellington Phoenix] because of the suspensions [to Patrick Gerhardt and Simon Colosimo] and a few injuries and a few players who were still fatigued from international duty,” Aloisi said yesterday.

“But it-ll be a similar side to [the Jets game], we won-t be making many changes.

“I won-t be looking to make any changes if I don-t have to."

With Nick Kalmar and Ben Garuccio back in training after injury, Aloisi said competition was healthy in the Heart camp.

“It is a lot easier when you have a full strength squad; it creates competition,” Aloisi said.

“People say it gives you a good headache and that-s what it is.”

Aloisi has made full use of 23 players across 14 matches this season, including blooding three National Youth League players and handing teenagers Ben Garuccio and David Vrankovic debuts.

But despite possessing a strong squad for tomorrow afternoon-s match, Aloisi is wary of Mike Mulvey-s Roar, which arrives at AAMI Park seeking a third consecutive victory.

Heart has matched up well against Brisbane in recent times, epitomised by the Club-s 4-1 thrashing of the reigning champions in round six.

But that was a different Roar side to the resurgent one which has brushed aside Adelaide United and Wellington Phoenix in its past two matches.

“A lot of people are saying they-re not as good as they were in the last two seasons but I still think they-ve got the players who will cause you problems and if you give them time on the ball they will create openings,” Aloisi said.

“We have to make sure defensively we keep our discipline and we-re pretty sure in attack we-ll cause them problems.”

Weighing in Heart-s favour is not only its recent record against Brisbane, but a confidence boost from its New Year-s Day triumph over the Jets.

“[Morale] lifted, but the boys didn-t really celebrate the win because they were just focussed quickly on the Brisbane game." Aloisi said.

"With the short turnaround, they just want to keep on winning,” Aloisi said.

“The players are very positive. We-ve played every team now and we-ve played a lot of good games that we just haven-t been able to win.

“So the players know that we-re just as good as anyone in this league and that it is very tight. We just have to make sure that we win the games that we deserve to win.”

Sunday, 6 January 2013 Melbourne Heart FC v Brisbane Roar Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne Kick-off: 4:00pm AEDT Referee: Alan Milliner Assistant Referee 1: Luke Brennan Assistant Referee 2: George Lakrindis Fourth Official: Shaun Evans

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1HD and Sky Sports 3.

ABC Radio Coverage - Updates into Grandstand cricket coverage

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MHvROAR. Follow us @MelbourneHeart

To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets

Melbourne Heart FC Squad: 1.Clint Bolton (Gk), 2.Michael Marrone, 3. Cameron Edwards, 4.Simon Colosimo, 5.Fred (c), 6. Patrick Gerhardt, 8. Matthew Thompson, 9.Dylan Macallister, 10. Josip Tadic, 11. Richard Garcia, 13. Jonatan Germano,14. Golgol Mebrahtu,15. David Williams, 16. Aziz Behich, 17. Jason Hoffman,18. David Vrankovic, 20. Andrew Redmayne (GK), 21. Steven Gray, 22. Nick Kalmar, 24. Sam Mitchinson, 25. Jeremy Walker, 26. Ersin Kaya *five to be omitted Ins: 21. Steven Gray, 22. Nick Kalmar, 24. Sam Mitchinson, 25. Jeremy Walker, 26. Ersin Kaya Outs: nil Unavailable: 23.Mate Dugandzic (broken foot - season) 31. Vince Grella

Brisbane Roar Squad: 1. Michael Theo (GK), 2. Matt Smith (capt), 3. Shane Stefanutto, 4. Matt Jurman, 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paartalu, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 10. Henrique, 11. Ben Halloran, 17. Mitch Nichols, 20. Matt Acton (GK), 21. James Meyer, 22. Thomas Broich, 24. Nick Fitzgerald. In: 21.James Meyer (promoted) Out: 15. James Donachie (suspended - one week) Unavailable: Jack Hingert (hip injury - 4-6 weeks), Do Dong-Hyun (knee - 2-3 weeks), Luke Brattan (ankle - 1-2 weeks)