The coach of the red and whites has talked up his team's chances of springing a surprise and registering their first victory of the season away in the Harbour CityMelbourne Heart head coach John Aloisi believes his team may be able to hurt Sydney FC on the counter-attack on Sunday as they chase a breakthrough away win.
After claiming their first point away to Western Sydney Wanderers last week - ending a run of 11 losses in games outside Victoria - Heart's confidence has received a timely boost and Aloisi hopes that can inspire another positive result.
Aloisi has attempted to turn Heart into an effective counter-attacking outfit this season in a bid to utilise the pace of the likes of Michael Mifsud, David Williams and Golgol Mebrahtu, and the 37-year-old reckons Sydney may be a prime target for such tactics.
Despite sitting fourth on the A-League table, Sydney have an even goal difference, underlining an element of defensive fragility, which Heart hope to exploit.
"Their strengths are definitely (Alessandro) Del Piero and those sorts of players going forward and then, hopefully, when they're going forward and they push a few too many numbers up, we can catch them out," Aloisi said on Friday.
Sydney's Allianz Stadium was the last venue outside Victoria where Heart tasted success, overcoming the Sky Blues 4-0 in December 2011.
Since then, Heart have failed to claim three points outside Melbourne in 22 A-League matches but they hope the dogged 1-1 draw away to the reigning premiers last week can be the turning point.
"It gives us a lot of confidence because it's a difficult place to go," Aloisi said of Western Sydney's Pirtek Stadium.
"The Wanderers are a good side, especially at home, you know, with their fans behind them.
"To get any sort of result there is a positive and it gives the boys confidence that we can go to Sydney again and get the result that we want because we want to start winning, we need to start winning."
Despite the promising signs of last week, Heart remain bottom of the A-League with just four points from nine rounds.
But Aloisi remains adamant his team would not be in such a position if they had not suffered so many injuries so far this season.
The former Heart striker is hopeful those days are behind the club with Harry Kewell having played 20 minutes versus the Wanderers, although Aloisi remains doubtful his former Socceroos teammate will start against Sydney.
"He's had a better week of training than last week," Aloisi said.
"Last week he virtually only trained once with us but he was up for the game and we knew we could only give him 20 minutes.
"We'll see if we start him on Sunday or not but he definitely can't play 90 minutes."
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