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The Toe Poke

Heart gets look at new Phoenix style

Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi has been handed an unexpected benefit with the resignation this week of Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert.

For the first time in their history the Phoenix will play without Herbert when they line up against Newcastle at Westpac Stadium on Wednesday night.

Herbert's assistant Chris Greenacre will take over as head coach until the end of the season and Aloisi has the chance to observe his game style before the Heart play the New Zealand side in Dunedin on Sunday.

"That is a positive for us," Aloisi said on Wednesday.

He hopes he will gain the same benefit he did when Frank Farina took over at Sydney - who went down to the Heart 3-1 last Sunday, moving them up to fifth place.

"We had it at Sydney FC when Frank Farina first took charge," he said.

"We didn't really know the way they were going to play and it's gone back (to the style of) three or four months ago.

"When the new coach comes in you go into the game unaware a bit of what he could do but now that they're going to play Newcastle we can see if they do make any changes, that we can adjust to it."

The Heart are a formidable side at home, notching seven wins from 10 games at AAMI Park but when it comes to away clashes, it's a different story all together.

Not since December 2011 - their 4-0 thumping of the Sky Blues as Allianz Stadium last season - has the Heart won outside of Melbourne.

But Aloisi insists he's not unhappy with the side's away form, just disappointed they have not made the most of their opportunities.

"We won't try something that much different from what we've been doing because I don't think we've played bad away from home," he said.

"Probably two games this year we've put in a bad performance away from home. We just need to take our chances when we do go away.

"You want to punish the opposition and also have that killer instinct because if you create two or three great chances on the road, that's a lot.

"Out of the three you should probably be putting away two."


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