In our weekly edition of Matt’s Musings, our fan blogger looks at the return of Melbourne Heart FC’s Croatian top scorer Josip Tadic from a toe injury.
In our weekly edition of Matt’s Musings, our fan blogger looks at the return of Melbourne Heart FC’s Croatian top scorer Josip Tadic from a toe injury and our varying home and away form.
A well-timed return
Timing is everything in football, and Heart Head Coach John Aloisi couldn-t have asked for any better timing in regards to the return of Josip Tadic.
The club-s top scorer this season has been given the green light to rejoin the first team ahead of Monday night-s massive clash with Adelaide United, and the Croatian forward represents a very welcome addition to the team-s attacking stocks, particularly with West Sydney, one of the toughest sides to score against, to visit next week.
With a full week of training under his belt after recovering from the broken toe he suffered in the last Melbourne Derby, Tadic-s return could prove pivotal in deciding Heart-s A-League finals fate.
Focus on home strengths
Before that though, we will get the chance to watch our team take on a massive double header at home.
The club will seek to maintain its 100% record at home through to the end of the home and away season by picking up six points at AAMI Park against Adelaide United and then the table-topping Western Sydney Wanderers.
Both teams currently sit in the top four, meaning that even at home these are games that Melbourne Heart will have to play extremely well in to win.
They remain inherently winnable games though, and it is important that for now, the club-s immediate attention is given to ensuring we take six points from six, to give us everything to play for when we come the final two games of the season.
It is also important that the team gives the fans the send-off they deserve for all their support of the club this season.
With a bit of luck, they-ll get another chance to head back to AAMI Park after the 30th of March.
Away form continues to disappoint
Another disappointing performance away from home made for particularly difficult viewing.
Against a Wellington side whose form had almost completely deserted them, who had lost their long-term coach only a week prior and a team that languished at the bottom of the table at the time of kick off, Melbourne Heart-s travel sickness reared its ugly head in the fabulous surrounds of Forysth Barr Stadium once more last Sunday.
It is a fascinating phenomenon, that of home and away form in professional sport.
Whether it be superstition, the influence of the crowd or the disruptions and changes to matchday preparation when travelling, Heart have consistently struggled to come to terms with the demands of the away days this season, and it has not been for a lack of trying.
The club travelled to New Zealand a day early last week to try and combat the problem, demonstrating a proactive approach to handling the problem on the club-s part, but it proved to little avail.
The club, the coaches and, most importantly, the players must continue along the same line of actively seeking out a solution to the Heart-s struggles away from AAMI Park, particularly with two massively important games to come away from home, in very difficult circumstances.
The club will conclude its home and away fixtures with two very tough away trips. First to Brisbane where they will face the Roar, before a daunting trip to Bluetoungue Stadium, where they will face Central Coast Mariners, who currently sit in second place.
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