Massimo Murdocca believes this Friday night’s match against Sydney FC at AAMI Park will be a “totally different ball game” to the previous fixture between the two sides in Melbourne earlier this season.
Massimo Murdocca believes this Friday night-s match against Sydney FC at AAMI Park will be a “totally different ball game” to the previous fixture between the two sides in Melbourne earlier this season.
The last time the Red and White met Sydney FC at AAMI, Murdocca-s side slumped to a 2-0 defeat as Sydney-s marquee Alessandro Del Piero and Joel Chianese struck in November’s Round 5 clash.
However, on the back the a 3-1 win at home over the Newcastle Jets and a 2-2 draw with Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium, Murdocca believes his teammates are ticking the right boxes as the team-s form continues to improve and confidence grows.
“We-re a different team now, we-ve got new players that have come in since then so it will be a different game all together,” Murdocca said.
“We just need to work hard, keep doing the things that we-ve been doing well, work on the things that we haven-t, and hopefully we improve this week”.
One of those personnel changes includes the return of marquee player Orlando Engelaar, who is likely to make his third appearance for Melbourne on Friday night, since returning from injury.
Engelaar debuted in the team-s 3-1 win over the Jets, before starting his first match in Red and White against Adelaide United on Saturday, but has been an influential member of the playing group both on and off the pitch according to Murdocca.
“It has been great playing with him everyday; he has not had much game time but just training with him, you can see his quality, you can see the experience that he has and even at 29 I am still learning from players like [Orlando],” Massimo said.
Sydney FC triumphed 5-0 at Etihad Stadium last weekend, with Del Piero netting a double, and Murdocca insists the onus is on Heart to avoid a repeat of the Australia Day mauling.
“We need to make sure we take that confidence out of them in the first 5 or 10 minutes, make sure we get on top of them,” Murdocca said.
Murdocca said there was further motivation to finish the season on a high for the Club-s fans.
“We want to finish on a high, we want to improve and make sure that this year we give the fans something to remember for next season and a bit of light at the end of the tunnel,” Murdocca said.