Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John Aloisi has indicated the importance of his underlying squad members heading into this Friday's match against the Wanderers.
Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John Aloisi has indicated the importance of his underlying squad members as the Club looks to atone for the team's 1-0 loss against Central Coast Mariners this Friday night.
Heart suffered injuries to three key players on Sunday, including captain Fred, target man Dylan Macallister and Matt Thompson and Aloisi has admitted his squad will be ‘stretched- for its visit to Parramatta Stadium against Western Sydney Wanderers.
While Macallister and Thompson are likely to recover in time to make the trip, a cloud lingers over Fred's fitness, opening a door for other squad members to come to the forefront and make an impact against Tony Popovic's Hyundai A-League newcomers.
“[The injuries] give someone else an opportunity to try and come into the team and keep their place,” Aloisi said.
“It happens during the year, we knew that. That-s why we said at the beginning of the season, everyone in the squad is important because before you know it, [their] opportunity will come along and you have to be ready for it.”
One player given an opportunity against the Mariners was 17-year-old Qantas Young Socceroos winger Ben Garuccio, who made his debut on Sunday and impressed with his endeavour.
Garuccio grasped his opportunity with both hands and played out a full 90 minutes, with the change allowing Mate Dugandzic some rest on the sidelines in the first half.
Dugandzic is now likely to have fresher legs for Friday night-s showdown.
“I just thought that Benny had been doing well in training and he-s pretty direct and we wanted to keep some width on the left and Benny could give us that,” Aloisi said.
“I think that Mate had a bit of a disruptive pre-season; he came in late and I thought it was time for him to have a bit of a rest. He looked sharp when he came on.”
With Garuccio and defender David Vrankovic away on international duty with the Qantas Young Socceroos, Jason Hoffman, Nick Kalmar and Steven Gray could be given the chance to impress.
Golgol Mebrahtu, who made his comeback from injury through Heart's National Youth League side on Saturday, might not be rushed into the fixture.