John Aloisi
John Aloisi

Coach admits Heart has frailties in defence

MELBOURNE Heart boss John Aloisi said he was not worried by his team's 3-0 loss to the Roar - but admitted there was plenty for his team to work on before the season's start.

The Heart never seemed to recover after conceding a goal to Roar striker Besart Berisha after just 16 seconds and only showed intermittent flashes of dangerous attacking play throughout Sunday's contest.

Aloisi's team will now step up pre-season preparations ahead of its A-League opener against Melbourne Victory on October 12.

The coach said he was unconcerned by the loss, but admitted he had noted his team's defensive frailties.

"We have got a lot to do, but I am not worried about losing a friendly," he said.

"I wasn't happy with conceding a goal so early (and) defensively we were stretched at times.

"I didn't think that they were creating lots of chances, but they were keeping the ball better than us at times as well.

"We got to see today what the boys need to work on over the next few weeks, which was good."

This will be Aloisi's second season in charge of the Heart, who could only finish ninth on last season's ladder.

The former Socceroos striker said the Roar's extra fitness and sharpness had made the difference.

"They have played a lot more friendly games than us (so far)," he said.

"A few of our players got 90 minutes under their belts for the first time (in pre-season) against opposition who were balanced and have been together for a while.

"I thought we played through them a few times and we did okay in parts, (but) we need to work on our defence."

In a further blow to Aloisi's team, star new recruit Orlando Engelaar may miss an extended part of the forthcoming season after breaking his leg during the contest.

See http://www.northernstar.com.au for more pictures and interviews from the match.



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