Saturday, February 9, 2013
Heart out to end A-League away drought
By Sam Lienert
Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi says his side must fix a dreadful away record, starting on Friday night against Newcastle, to make the A-League finals and enter them with confidence.Saturday night's 2-0 win over Perth Glory, highlighted by a brilliant first-half free-kick goal from Nick Kalmar, was the Heart's sixth win from 10 home games so far this season.But their only away win was their round one triumph over Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium.In their eight games outside Melbourne, they have gained a solitary point.That was for their scoreless draw with Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium in early December, hardly worth celebrating given the Sky Blues entered that match on a four-game losing streak, bottom of the table and with a caretaker coach.But after the Heart climbed into the top six with their win over the Glory, who have been a bogey side for them in the past, Aloisi said it was time to take that form interstate."It does give us confidence because we played well and against a team that probably physically would outmuscle us in the past," Aloisi said."This year in the two home games they haven't been able to."Now we have to perform like that away from home, that's the big thing now."We have a massive game against Newcastle."Aloisi, who labelled the Jets clash a virtual six-pointer given the close fight for the last two spots in the top six, said there was no logical reason why the Heart's results differed so starkly at home and away."We've got to make sure we put that right, especially now for the last bit of the season," he said."If we want to make finals we need to pick up a couple of results away from home."And then normally in the finals we would play away from home if we do make it."