Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John Aloisi is confident his side can further cement itself in the top six with a win against Sydney FC tomorrow, but is cautious of the Sky Blues’ never-say-die attitude.
Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John Aloisi is confident his side can further cement itself in the top six with a win against Sydney FC tomorrow, but is cautious of the Sky Blues- never-say-die attitude.
While Sydney languishes at the basement of the A-League ladder, Frank Farina-s side showed resilience and character to fight back from a one goal deficit on two occasions last weekend, to draw 2-2 against Perth Glory.
Farina has emphasised the Sunday afternoon clash as a ‘must-win- for his charges and while wary of Sydney-s potential, Aloisi believes the home side-s approach may favour Heart.
“It-s an important game for us like the other two [matches against Newcastle Jets and Brisbane Roar] were,” Aloisi said.
“We said after the Wellington game that we needed to win the two at home and now it gives us an opportunity to build on our season and go to Sydney [and secure a win] we can keep on going on for the rest of the season.
"We know it's a must-win for them and that can also help us a little bit because they'll come all out and try and win the game and we might be able to pick a few holes when they leave themselves vulnerable at the back.
Aloisi praised Sydney-s spirit, epitomised by their come from behind draw last week, despite a turbulent season to date.
"They've been a bit up and down since Frank's been there, but one thing they will do, they'll never lay down,” Aloisi said.
"They'll work hard for each other because they know that this is probably one of their last chances.
"If they want to make finals they need to start picking up points so they'll see this game as a must-win for them and that's why we have to be ready for it."
With David Williams out due to suspension and with Michael Marrone destined for China, Aloisi could maintain faith in his National Youth League stars, with Jeremy Walker, Sam Mitchinson or Ersin Kaya earmarked as replacements, while Jonatan Germano has the potential to play as a make-shift right-back.
“We-ve got options with either Jeremy [Walker] or Ersin Kaya so there are a few things we are working on. Also Jonathan [Germano] could go back there, but we-re comfortable with him in the midfield at the moment so we don-t really want to shift him around,” Aloisi said.
Aloisi emphasised the danger of the reinvigorated Jason Culina and the ever-present Alessandro Del Piero for the Sky Blues, with the midfield battle likely to serve up a number of key clashes.
Sunday, January 13 Sydney FC vs Melbourne Heart FC Venue: Allianz Stadium Kick off: 5:00PM Referee: Peter O'Leary Assistant referee 1: Scott Edeling Assistant referee 2: Owen Goldrick Fourth official: Kris Griffith-Jones
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1HD and Sky Sports 3. ABC Radio Coverage - Updates only Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #SYDvMH. Follow us @MelbourneHeart To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets
Sydney FC squad: 2. Sebastian Ryall, 3. Fabio, 6. Jason Culina, 7. Brett Emerton, 10. Alessandro Del Piero, 12. Blake Powell, 15. Terry McFlynn, 16. Joel Chianese, 17. Terry Antonis, 18. Trent McClenahan, 20. Vedran Janjetovic (gk), 21. Yairo Yau, 22. Ali Abbas, 23. Rhyan Grant, 26. Peter Triantis, 28. Aaron Calver, 33. Matthew Nash (gk) *two to be omitted In: Fabio (returns from injury), Yairo Yau (returns from injury) Out: Nil Unavailable: Pascal Bosschaart (calf - 2 weeks), Ivan Necevski (ankle - 2 weeks ),Nathan Sherlock (hamstring - 2 weeks)
Melbourne Heart FC Squad: 1.Clint Bolton (Gk), 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, 16. Aziz Behich, 17. Jason Hoffman,18. David Vrankovic, 19. Ben Garuccio, 20. Andrew Redmayne (GK), 21. Steven Gray, 22. Nick Kalmar, 24. Sam Mitchinson, 25. Jeremy Walker, 26. Ersin Kaya *six to be omitted Ins: 3. Cameron Edwards, 18. David Vrankovic, 19. Ben Garuccio, 21. Steven Gray, 22. Nick Kalmar, 24. Sam Mitchinson, 25. Jeremy Walker, 26. Ersin Kaya (all promoted) Outs: 2.Michael Marrone (impending transfer), 15. David Williams (suspended - one match) Unavailable: 23.Mate Dugandzic (broken foot - season) 31. Vince Grella (groin - undisclosed)