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Dec 14, 2012

Bad blood continues between Glory, Heart

Angry Perth coach Ian Ferguson has hit back at John Aloisi, claiming the Melbourne Heart coach was in the wrong during his heated verbal altercation with Glory skipper Jacob Burns.

Burns and Aloisi had to be separated as the teams headed to the change rooms at halftime of Heart's 1-0 win over Glory on Saturday.

Aloisi, who was talking to the fourth official about Perth's physicality when Burns first confronted him, labelled the Glory midfielder as "disrespectful" after the match.

But Ferguson returned fire on Monday, saying Aloisi's decision to follow Burns down the tunnel further inflamed the situation.

"To me it was wrong," a fired-up Ferguson said on Monday.

"He (Burns) has seen Aloisi trying to influence the fourth official, and Jacob's not happy with that, and quite rightly so.

"If my captain sees that and he's trying to protect his players, then that's the way he should be.

"And then he (Aloisi) follows the player down the tunnel and tries to make something of it.

"Whether he's done that deliberately, I don't know. To kick-start something? To me it was wrong, and he shouldn't have done it."

Aloisi further infuriated Ferguson when he said: "A few of their players, once our player releases the ball, they either foul them a little bit or go through them a little bit."

Ferguson said that claim was nonsense, despite an incident in which Glory defender Dean Heffernan felled Josip Tadic off the ball.

"They keep on using that bullying word, that we're too physical, too strong," Ferguson said.

"They should go check the facts and stats before he starts making stupid comments.

"He said that we come in from the back and either kick you a little bit or go right through you.

"I don't know where he gets that from.

"I'm annoyed that a coach has actually said that."

Burns picked up his sixth yellow card of the season in the loss to Heart.

But Ferguson felt the 34-year-old was again harshly dealt with, and said the level of refereeing in the A-League needed to improve.

"I just don't understand where they're coming from with Jacob and I'm getting a little bit peeved off to be honest with you ... because he just doesn't deserve it," Ferguson said.

"There are jobs at stake.

"They (referees) keep making the same mistakes. They get a one-game ban, (but) we (coaches) are out the door.

"If results don't go right, we're out the door, it's as simple as that."

Perth, who take on Newcastle at nib Stadium on Friday night, have slipped to eighth on the table following a five-game winless run.

Heffernan is free to play against the Jets after the A-League match review panel found no incidents during round 10 that required further punishment.

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