Melbourne Heart A-League coach John Aloisi says his men have the fight in them to turn their season around.
For a Melbourne Heart line-up which coach John Aloisi admits appears to lack belief, the news Harry Kewell has been ruled out for a sixth successive week is a bitter blow.
Aloisi though is confident his winless side can turn things around in Sunday’s round-seven A-League clash with the Jets in Newcastle and says the home team have provided the example to follow.
He hopes skipper Kewell can return to action next week following neck and ankle injuries which have restricted the Socceroos’ great to one game this season.
Kewell has been running but he’s progressing slowly, Aloisi said on Friday.
“We don’t want to put pressure on any individual player just because the results haven’t been there,” Aloisi told reporters.
“He is our captain and he’s frustrated with the situation.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game because Newcastle are a team that works very hard. We look at them also and see how they’ve turned their season around in the past two weeks from being near the bottom and, two wins, and they’re up to third.”
Aloisi did his best to sound positive about his coaching future, saying all he could do was focus on the task at hand.
“I can’t get caught up in speculation or media,” he said.
Aloisi said Brisbane Roar had lost five in a row when the Heart’s Massimo Murdocca was at the club and all hope appeared lost.
Yet the Roar won the title.
“They stuck together and they believed in what they were doing,” Aloisi said.
“I was shattered (after last week’s 2-0 loss to Sydney FC).
“After a game, I’m as shattered as anyone when we lose.
“I wouldn’t say (Heart are) clearly struggling for confidence. In the last game against Sydney FC, you could see they lacked a little bit of self-belief.
“The players are very positive about us turning it around.”
Tough defender Patrick Kisnorbo is an 80 per cent chance to play on Sunday after suffering a knee injury in round three, Aloisi says.
“We’d love to have Patrick playing because he’s such an important player for our squad,” Aloisi said.