Melbourne Heart FC midfielder Nick Kalmar said he has noticed a positive lift in energy at training this week as the team shapes up for Saturday’s blockbuster Melbourne Derby at Etihad Stadium.
Melbourne Heart FC midfielder Nick Kalmar said he has noticed a positive lift in energy at training this week as the team shapes up for Saturday-s blockbuster Melbourne Derby at Etihad Stadium.
With news of Vince Grella-s retirement, which was quickly followed by the departure of Aziz Behich to Turkish Super Lig club Bursaspor, threatening to unsettle Heart-s preparation for the match against their city rivals, Kalmar said the off-field distractions had been the catalyst for a more focussed week on the training track this week.
And with the derby ledger squared at one a piece this season - with both sides snatching a 2-1 win on each others- turf - Kalmar said there was extra spice and importance in this Saturday's mouth-watering clash.
“We all know what derbies mean and we-ve got a good track record against Victory, we seem to match up well against them,” Kalmar said.
“The boys are always up for it and intensity during the week has been good so we-re looking forward to it.”
The last time the teams met on 22 December, the Red and White registered a tremendous display of character, only to be heartbroken by a last-gasp winner from Archie Thompson at AAMI Park.
“No one likes to lose like that, especially against our derby opponents, but we-ve put that behind us now and we-re really focussed on not letting something like that happen again,” Kalmar said.
“We-re a bit disappointed about last week [against Western Sydney Wanderers], but, again, we-ve put it behind us and we-ve worked hard this week at training and we-re all up for this week.
“It is the business end of the season and we have to start picking up points."