Heart requires ‘killer instinct’


Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John Aloisi believes his side has the right medicine to cure its ailing away form and kick its finals surge up another gear with a win on its longest away journey.

Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John Aloisi believes his side has the right medicine to cure its ailing away form and kick its finals surge up another gear with a win on its longest away journey.

Heart departed Melbourne yesterday morning in preparation for Sunday-s Round 23 Hyundai A-League showdown against Wellington Phoenix FC at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, and will train in New Zealand today.

While the Red and White-s record outside of Melbourne has been a cause for concern, Aloisi hopes on the back of a record fifth consecutive home win at AAMI Park his side has packed its ‘killer instinct- for the journey across the Tasman.

Heart illustrated its ruthlessness in front of goal in a 3-1 win over Sydney FC last Sunday and Aloisi believes a similar dynamism will be required to prevent another mark on the Club-s record outside of Melbourne.

Ironically, it could be one of Heart-s longest away trips that produces its first win outside of Melbourne this season.

“[Forsyth Barr] looks like a great stadium – I don-t know if it is similar to AAMI Park, but it-s around the same size and it looks beautiful and also [it-s] an away game for them which is good for us,” Aloisi said.

“I don-t think we-ve played badly away from home. There-s probably two games this year that we have put in a bad performance away from home.

“We just need to take our chances when we do go away because we created a lot against Newcastle, [but] we didn-t put it in the back of the net.

“And that was the difference with us against Sydney; we scored with our first few chances and then it makes it hard for the opposition.”

The Heart will have to be wary of a Phoenix side which is attempting to live up to its name and rise up from the foot of the A-League ladder.

While the Nix went down 1-2 against Newcastle on Wednesday night, interim coach Chris Greenacre will look to instil renewed energy into a Wellington side keen to emerge from a week of turmoil after the loss of coach Ricki Herbert with a positive result.

The Nix still possess a number of danger men, including Heart-s nemesis Paul Ifill, who has scored six goals against the Red and White in all encounters, and top scorer Jeremy Brockie who scored the match-winner in team-s last meeting.

Aloisi has promised not to take the Nix lightly, nor allow the home side to spoil Heart-s hopes for a finals berth and has reminded his charges to punish their opponents when chances present themselves.

“You want to punish the opposition and also have that killer instinct,” Aloisi said.

Aloisi will welcome back Patrick Gerhardt from a mandatory one-week suspension after he accumulated his eighth yellow card, meaning the Head Coach is spoiled for choice in the central defensive area, given that regular Simon Colosimo is available and teenager David Vrankovic has impressed when handed the opportunity.

Heart also has a number of choices in midfield, with a fit again Fred available, Matt Thompson, Marcel Meeuwis, Jason Hoffman and the in-form Nick Kalmar vying for a starting berth.

Sunday 3 March
Hyundai A-League Round 23
Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne Heart FC
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium
Kick off: 4:30PM (2.30pm AEDT)
Referee: Brenton Hayward
Assistant referee 1: Mark Rule
Assistant referee 2: Glenn Lochrie
Fourth official: Alex Azcurra
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1HD and Sky Sports 1
ABC Radio Coverage – Grandstand Digital Melbourne & online
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #NIXvMH. Follow us @MelbourneHeart
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets

Wellington Phoenix Squad: Mark Paston (GK), 2. Manny Muscat, 3.Tony Lochhead; 7. Leo Bertos, 8. Paul Ifill, 10. Stein Huysegems, 11. Jeremy Brockie, 12. Tyler Boyd, 16. Louis Fenton, 17. Vince Lia, 18. Ben Sigmund, 20. Glen Moss (GK), 21. Dani Sanchez, 22. Andrew Durante (C), 23. Corey Gameiro.
Ins: Nil.
Outs: Nil.
Unavailable: 4. Isaka Cernak (hip flexor 1-2 weeks), 19. Jimmy Downey (knee – indefinite)

Melbourne Heart FC Squad: 1. Clint Bolton (GK), 4. Simon Colosimo, 5. Fred, 6. Patrick Gerhardt, 8. Matt Thompson, 11. Richard Garcia, 13. Jonatan Germano 14. Golgol Mebrahtu, 15. David Williams, 16, Marcel Meeuwis, 17. Jason Hoffman, 18. David Vrankovic, 19. Ben Garuccio, 20. Andrew Redmayne (GK), 21. Jamie Coyne, 22. Nick Kalmar, 25. Jeremy Walker, 36. Eli Babalj (Three to be omitted)
Ins: 6. Patrick Gerhardt (returns from suspension), 17. Jason Hoffman (promoted), 19. Ben Garuccio (promoted)
Outs: Nil
Unavailable: 10. Josip Tadic (broken toe – one week), 23. Mate Dugandzic (broken foot – season)