Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John Aloisi has labelled tomorrow night’s clash with Wellington Phoenix as a "must-win" for the Red and White.
Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John Aloisi has labelled tomorrow night-s clash with Wellington Phoenix as a "must-win" for the Red and White.
“It-s a big one; it-s must-win for us,” Aloisi said.
“We have to start winning and this is an important one and we feel we can beat Wellington.
“We know that they are a decent side; they-ve got some good players that can make a difference, but we are confident we can win on Friday.”
Click play on the video below to watch the full press conference with Head Coach John Aloisi.
Aloisi-s side suffered defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Melbourne Victory last Saturday night in a heated and controversial Melbourne Derby, as the Red and White were reduced to 10 men following Patrick Kisnorbo-s early dismissal.
It was a cruel twist early in the contest as Aloisi-s side were forced to battle for the rest of the match - a 70 minute period - with one less player than its opponent.
However, Aloisi said there were enough positive signs in the first 20 minutes to suggest the Red and White have the ability to test - and beat - the Phoenix.
“The first 20 minutes [of the Derby], I thought that we were playing well before the sending off and the boys kept on fighting right to the end, even when we were down to 10 men,” Aloisi said.
“It was disappointing to lose the Derby because we thought we had a great chance of winning that one and we just have to move on.”
Aloisi is likely to bring in Patrick Gerhardt for the suspended Kisnorbo in central defence, while Nick Kalmar could retain his place in midfield.
Despite the slight interruption of Christmas day, Aloisi-s side has spent the week on the track focussing on the Phoenix-s visit - training three days this week, either side of the Christmas break on Monday, Tuesday and Boxing Day.
“We have to now focus on the Wellington game and that-s what we-ve been doing all week, just trying to prepare well for that game and to make sure we come out playing the same way we did in the Derby in the first 20 minutes,” Aloisi said.
The Red and White will take confidence from the fact that the Phoenix have never returned to New Zealand with three points after playing Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park (recording two draws and two losses) but Aloisi recognises that Ernie Merrick-s side possesses a number of danger men.
Despite not replicating his goalscoring efforts of last season, Jeremy Brockie was a thorn in Melbourne Heart-s side last season, scoring three goals in his last two appearances against Aloisi-s side.
Equally dangerous is Carlos Hernandez, who has the highest tally of assists this season (4), while only Brisbane Roar-s Thomas Broich (36) has created more goalscoring chances (31) than the Costa Rican. However, Aloisi believes the pressure on his side will come from within.
“[There are] pressures every week; I-ve said that before that it comes with the job, but I put a lot of pressure on myself; the players put a lot of pressure on themselves because they want to be winning,” Aloisi said.
“We want to win for the supporters and also we because we know that we have to start winning if we want to stay in contact with the rest of the group.”
Aloisi said the side-s morale remained high because the players continued to believe in what the Club was implementing.
“We can turn the corner with one win,” Aloisi said.
Friday 27 December 2013 Melbourne Heart FC v Wellington Phoenix AAMI Park, Melbourne Kick-off: 7.30pm local (7:30pm AEDT) Referee: Strebre Delovski Assistant Referee 1: George Lakrindis Assistant Referee 2: Jonathan Barreiro Fourth Official: Alex Azcurra TV broadcast: 7.00pm (AEDT) Live and EXCLUSIVE coverage on FOX Sports 1HD and SBS 2. 7.30pm (AEDT) on Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand). Radio Broadcast: Full LIVE coverage on 774 ABC Melbourne, ABC Local radio Victoria, Grandstand Digital and Online/Mobile phone app Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MHTvWEL To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets
Melbourne Heart FC Squad: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 3. Robbie WIELAERT, 6. Patrick GERHARDT, 7. Iain RAMSAY, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 10. Harry KEWELL (C), 11.Michael MIFSUD, 14. Golgol MEBRAHTU, 15. David WILLIAMS 16. Aziz BEHICH, 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 18. David VRANKOVIC, 19. Ben GARUCCIO, 20. Tando VELAPHI (GK), 21. Stefan MAUK, 22. Nick KALMAR, 23. Mate DUGANDZIC, 25. Andrea MIGLIORINI (Two to be omitted) Ins: 21. Stefan MAUK (promoted), 18. David VRANKOVIC (promoted), 19. Ben GARUCCIO (promoted) Outs: 24. Patrick KISNORBO (suspended - one match) Unavailable: 4. Orlando ENGELAAR (Fractured tibia - 5-9 weeks), 13. Jonatan GERMANO (Calf - 5 weeks)
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1. Glen MOSS (GK), 2. Manny MUSCAT, 5. Michael BOXALL, 7. Leo BERTOS, 9. Kenny CUNNINGHAM, 10. Stein HUYSEGEMS, 11. Jeremy BROCKIE, 12. Tyler BOYD, 13. Albert RIERA, 15. Jason HICKS, 16. Louis FENTON, 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 20. Lewis ITALIANO (GK), 21. Carlos HERNANDEZ, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c). In: 12. Tyler Boyd (promoted) Out: 8. Paul Ifill (Achilles injury) Unavailable: 8. Paul Ifill (ruptured Achilles, 8 to 12 months).