Heart coach Aloisi gets club backing
It's all-out attack for Melbourne Heart as they search for that elusive win - and goal - so long out of reach.
John Aloisi's A-League side is winless since February and goal-less in five hours of football, but the beleaguered coach has received support from chief executive Scott Munn ahead of Friday night's home clash with Sydney FC.
Munn insists the club still sees Aloisi as their long-term coach, with an unchanged expectation to play finals this season despite starting with three draws and two losses to be last on the ladder.
"We're not participating for any other reason. There's a long way to go," Munn said.
"We have an absolute obligation to give him every opportunity to succeed in his position and we haven't changed."
Aloisi and football boss John Didulica presented at the Heart's monthly board meeting on Tuesday.
Munn said the next three games - against Sydney, away to Newcastle and at home against Adelaide - were "really important" for the club.
How Aloisi must have envied counterpart Frank Farina last weekend, as Sydney FC welcomed back star Alessandro Del Piero with a 3-2 win over Melbourne Victory.
Aloisi will again be without the injured Harry Kewell and has indicated changes to boost his team's attacking potency are likely after focussing on "punishing teams" in training.
But he remains adamant the Heart don't need to change too much to start winning.
"Losing is never an option. I hate losing but it's part of the game. I can't think about losing, I can only think about making sure we prepare well enough to win," he said.
"It does get frustrating because we know that we should have had not just one win we should have had at least a couple."
The Sky Blues have been forced into changes in defence with Tiago Calvano and Marc Warren both missing through suspension.
Aloisi was unsure whether attention on Del Piero after winning numerous free kicks against Victory would cause referees to take a second look at his actions.
"Let's hope so," Aloisi said with a grin.
"I don't know who the referee is tomorrow, if he'll be looking closely at that, if it's going to help us that'll be great."
Kewell has been training at AFL side Carlton's high-altitude replicating facilities but has only just resumed running.