Kisnorbo lauds tighter Heart rearguard

The experienced stopper believes a new partnership at the back is set to make the team in red and white harder to beat in 2013-14 after keeping out their cross-city rivals
Melbourne Heart centre-back Paddy Kisnorbo says the dour derby draw with Melbourne Victory last weekend showed they were hard to beat.

Heart have lost 35 of 85 matches A-League matches, but a sturdy defence led by former Leicester and Leeds man Kisnorbo saw them keep a clean sheet and earn a point against the more-fancied Victory in the opening round.

And the 32-year-old said Heart fans can expect more of the same ahead of the visit of Central Coast on Saturday, as coach John Aloisi looks to build a side that gets results - with the Mariners proving a notable thorn in Heart's side, beating them seven times out of a possible nine.

"There's no point looking pretty and conceding six goals a game, so we were hard to beat," Kisnorbo said at AAMI Park on Wednesday.

"Our game plan was what John practiced on during the week, and we stuck to it."

Kisnorbo said he was happy early on in his partnership with Dutchman Robbie Wielaert, having spent six weeks training together in pre-season.

The well-travelled Melbourne-born stopper said he was happy to be home, and was also working on developing Heart's younger players.

"I've been here for six weeks, I feel really good - the team have welcomed me, [so too] the coaching staff," Kisnorbo said.

"Everyone around here with the club have welcomed me with open arms, so it's just good to be here and good to be in my home town."

On the senior players helping to develop youngsters, he said: "We take time out individually to just give them some pointers as to how to improve their game, and obviously the coaching staff do that too.

"We've got some good young players coming up, so hopefully they can impress and get their chance and take it."

The former Australia international also backed the next Socceroos coach to come from A-League ranks, after Football Federation Australia chairman Frank Lowy shortlisted Ange Postecoglou, Graham Arnold and Tony Popovic for the role.

"Yeah definitely, they've proven before that they can coach at the highest level, hopefully one of them two or Popovic get a chance, and hopefully they do well for the country," said Kisnorbo, who collected 18 caps for Australia between 2002 and 2009.

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