John Aloisi: Melbourne Heart will attack Central Coast

The coach of the red and whites claims his team will be on the front foot this weekend despite playing host to a side they have only beaten once in their brief history
John Aloisi says Melbourne Heart will attack Central Coast to try and avoid a dull game on Saturday, but they must plan to do so without Harry Kewell.

Heart coach Aloisi expects the reigning champions to adopt a defensive mindset when they travel at AAMI Park, obliging the hosts to take the initiative, something they opted not to do in a tight 0-0 draw against Melbourne Victory last weekend.

"Tomorrow will be completely different," he said, referring to Heart's safety-first approach in the derby.

"The Mariners will come here and sit off us. As they always do when they come here. They made it a pretty dull affair [last season].

"The onus is on us. We've got players we believe can dictate a game."

The Heart are burdened by a woeful record of one win, one draw and seven defeats in nine meetings with the Mariners.

However, Aloisi believes that record will count for nothing against a Central Coast line-up which has experienced a high turnover of players from their title-winning campaign last term.

"They're still going to be the benchmark of the league," he said.

"We play quite well against the Mariners, we match up quite well against them. Because we've only won one, I don't think that'll affect it all. We've got enough fire power."

Captain and playmaker Kewell is unlikely to start and may not be involved at all after failing to train this week following a serious head knock suffered in the derby.

"He's still struggling a little bit but we're going to leave it to the last minute, give him a fitness test tomorrow morning and hope he's ok," Aloisi said.

"If he's not right, we won't risk him. He hasn't trained all week.

"Iain Ramsay can come in and do a job and we can shift a couple of players around. We've got Stefan Mauk back from the Under-20s. We won't be able to start Nicky Kalmar."

Aloisi also confirmed striker Michael Mifsud will not return from international duty in time to be involved in Saturday's game.

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