Melbourne Heart FC left back Aziz Behich reflects on the derby and looks to Sunday’s showdown against Wellington Phoenix
Melbourne Heart’s derby triumph last Friday night at Etihad Stadium came as a shock in some corners of the Hyundai A-League fraternity, with many expecting the Red and White to slump to defeat in its opening match.
In the lead-up to one of the most anticipated showdowns of last weekend, concerns were raised around Heart’s competitiveness after a number of off-season exits and it’s ‘rookie’ coaching list, as John Aloisi’s side were labelled ‘logical’ underdogs.
But Heart left back Aziz Behich told media yesterday that win wasn’t unexpected within the Heart camp.
“No, not at all,” Behich replied when questioned whether the team was surprised by the result.
“Through our whole pre-season we have worked hard and focussed on our structure and also on the way Victory play and how to develop our pressing game,” Behich said.
“We were just worried about ourselves and we got the three points and that’s what we went out there for.”
Three points are again the aim against a depleted Wellington Phoenix this Sunday at AAMI Park, where the visitors will be without coach Ricki Herbert and seven players who are unavailable due to international duty.
However, Behich is encouraging his teammates to avoid complacency.
“We’re not worried about who they’re going to play and who they are missing; we are just going to stick to the game plan that the coach puts out,” Behich said.
“It’s still going to be a tough game; Wellington is always a good side and it’ll be a battle again.”
While it was Heart’s well-researched and aggressive pressing game which unlocked Victory and prevented its opponents from time on the ball, Aloisi’s troops will prepare for Sunday’s game by doing thorough homework on its Trans-Tasman opponent.
“We’ll focus on Wellington throughout the week and see the way they are going to play against us [based on] previous games,” Behich said.
“Once we have a look at them, we’ll decide on the way we want to play.”
Tickets for Heart’s first home game can be purchased here.
Melbourne Heart FC v Wellington Phoenix