Aloisi: We’re ready for Perth test


Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John Aloisi is convinced his side will stand up to the task against Perth Glory tomorrow at AAMI Park.

Perth Glory has proved a thorn in the side of Melbourne Heart FC in recent encounters, but Head Coach John Aloisi is convinced his side will stand up to the task against the visitors at AAMI Park tomorrow afternoon, despite still missing three key players.

With Heart still scarred by last season-s Finals Series elimination at the hands of the Glory, Ian Ferguson-s team have continued its purple patch against the Red and White this season, with the West Australians notching their fourth win in five matches against the Melbourne team.

Perth were responsible for causing an abrupt end to Heart’s promising opening as Heart hit a stumbling block on the road in round three, as Aloisi-s men went down 2-0 at NIB Stadium.

That triggered a minor form slump of three losses on the trot – but Aloisi is confident his side will not be bossed by the visitors on this ocassion, as they look to buck the Perth trend.

With the Glory holding the wood over the Red and White in recent occasions, the Heart are looking for a change in form and aiming to go three consecutive matches unbeaten at AAMI Park.

“We won against Brisbane a few weeks ago so it-s not like we don-t know how to win,” Aloisi said.
“It-s just about consistency and winning a number of games in a row.

“We-re not far off at all. Our structure and shape is very good and it just goes to show we can bring in two [National] Youth League players and they can fit in straight away.”

“That-s why we-re competitive in every game we play; now we just have to make sure we stay focussed for 90 minutes and we don-t give away stupid goals.”

After two contrasting draws on the trot – a 3-3 goal feast against Newcastle Jets and a 0-0 stalemate against Sydney FC respectively, Aloisi believes the win against the Glory can kick start a run back up the table.

“Last week was a positive when we kept the clean sheet…so the boys know they can do that,” Aloisi said.

“Once we get a run of wins going, you can climb the ladder very quickly.”

Perth Glory have proven to be a tough match-up for the Heart in recent times and Aloisi recognises the danger of Shane Smeltz who has netted six goals against the Club.

“They-re a well-organised team. They-ve always been competitive and they-ve got a top striker in Smeltz,” Aloisi said.

“I think they-ve physically bullied us on the number of occasions, that-s not going to happen anymore. We-re quite a strong team.”

“We-ll make sure we stay focused on our game and won-t let them worry us.”

Saturday, 8 December 2012
Melbourne Heart v Perth Glory
Venue: AAMI Park
Kick off: 5:30 PM
Referee: Peter Green
Assistant referee 1: Luke Brennan
Assistant referee 2: Patrick Chaplin
Fourth official: Brenton Hayward

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1HD and Sky Sports 3.
ABC Radio Coverage – 774 & ABC Local Radio Victoria, 720 & ABC Local Radio Western Australia, Online, Grandstand Digital Melbourne & Perth.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MHvPG. Follow us @MelbourneHeart

To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets

Melbourne Heart squad: 1. Clint Bolton (GK), 4. Simon Colosimo, 5. Fred (C), 6. Patrick Gerhardt, 8. Matthew Thompson, 9. Dylan Macallister, 10. Josip Tadic, 14. GolGol Mebrahtu, 15. David Williams, 17. Jason Hoffman, 18. David Vrankovic, 20. Andrew Redmayne (GK), 21. Steven Gray, 22. Nick Kalmar, 24. Sam Mitchinson, 25. Jeremy Walker, [No. TBC] Stefan Mauk
*Three to be omitted

Ins: Stefan Mauk (promoted – National Youth League)

Outs: 19. Ben Garuccio (ankle – 3-4 weeks) 23. Mate Dugandzic (broken foot 8-12 weeks)

Unavailable: 13. Jonatan Germano, 2. Michael Marrone (international duty – Qantas Socceroos), 11. Richard Garcia (international duty – Qantas Socceroos), 16. Aziz Behich (Qantas Socceroos international duty), 31. Vince Grella (fitness – undisclosed)

Perth Glory Squad: 1.Danny Vukovic (gk), 3.Bas van den Brink, 4.Billy Mehmet, 5.Steve Pantelidis, 6.Nick Ward, 7.Jacob Burns (c), 8.Dean Heffernan 9.Shane Smeltz, 10.Liam Miller, 11.Adrian Zahra, 13.Travis Dodd, 14.Steven McGarry, 15.Brandon O-Neill, 17.Chris Harold, 18.Jesse Makarounas, 19.Josh Risdon, 30 Lewis Italiano (gk)
*Two to be omitted

Ins: 7.Jacob Burns (returns from suspension), 10.Liam Miller (returns from injury)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 12.Ryo Nagai (Bone bruising knee 2-4 weeks), 16.Evan Berger (hamstring – indefinite), 21.Scott Jamieson (International duty – Qantas Socceroos), 23.Michael Thwaite (International duty – Qantas Socceroos)