Prospect of top six berth motivation for Heart

The prospect of a top six berth is enough motivation for Melbourne Heart FC ahead of the Club’s clash against Sydney FC, despite external attention centred on a duo in Sky Blue, Head Coach John Aloisi has reinforced.

The prospect of a top six berth is enough motivation for Melbourne Heart FC ahead of the Club-s clash against Sydney FC, despite external attention centred on a duo in Sky Blue, Head Coach John Aloisi has reinforced.

Aloisi is adamant his side have focussed its energies on a fifth consecutive win on home soil, but admitted Sydney-s current form, coupled with the talented personnel at Frank Farina-s disposal, posed a real threat on the eve of the Round 22 Hyundai A-League clash.

However, focus in the Heart camp has been solely on continuing the Red and White-s unblemished home record in 2013 at AAMI Park, with hype surrounding Alessandro Del Piero and Lucas Neill not affecting the playing group.

“[There will be] no extra spice with playing against any individual,” Aloisi said.

“Playing against a team that is around our position on the table - and if we win we can go back into fifth place - [makes it] an important game for us.

“We-ve been good at home, in good form, winning a lot of games, so we-re looking forward to the game tomorrow.

“I haven-t focussed on [Del Piero-s renewed contract and Lucas Neill-s signing], all I-ve focussed on is getting my team prepared as a coach that is all I can do.

“We-re expecting a good crowd, a big crowd and I-m sure there will be a good atmosphere.”

Aloisi conceded that the Sky Blues had to be afforded some attention, due to their dangerous personnel.

“They-ve got great individuals… you look at Del Piero, Joel Griffiths, now Tiago, Lucas [Neill], [Brett] Emerton to come back in, Eli Abbas, they-ve got very good individuals,” Aloisi said.

“Earlier on in the season I don-t think they had their full squad to select from so that-s probably why they weren-t getting results, now they-ve got in a few more players and have a larger squad to select from now and it-s normal they are going to be getting better results.

“We just make sure we keep our shape and stop the service to the likes of Del Piero and Joel Griffiths, their front players.

“We know how good [Del Piero], is on the ball and not only during open play but on set pieces.

“We like to focus more on our game more than the opposition [but] we still have to make sure that we see what strengths and weaknesses they-ve got but it-s more about us tomorrow and we-ve been doing well at home, so we-re confident.”

Aloisi enforced that his side was motivated at the prospect of stretching it-s unbeaten stretch to five matches, while the players may be motivated by the past two results against the Sky Blues.

“We go into the game with confidence,” Aloisi said.

“If [past results] gives them extra motivation, even better, I think the motivation of getting back into the top six and being fifth by the end of the weekend is motivation enough.”

Sunday 24 February Hyundai A-League Melbourne Heart FC v Sydney FC Venue: AAMI Park Kick off: 5:00 PM