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Aloisi looks to boost away form

Coach John Aloisi wants Melbourne Heart to reverse their away record in Saturday’s clash with Western Sydney Wanderers.

Heart have claimed just one point from seven matches outside Victoria this season, with their only win away from AAMI Park coming against local rivals Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium.

But Heart travel to at Parramatta Stadium buoyed by three wins from their past four matches as they aim to narrow the nine-point gap to the fourth-placed Wanderers.

“They’re a good side; they’ve proved to everyone they are well organised and they’ve been on a great run of late and that’s why they are sitting in fourth position,” Aloisi said.

“But we’re confident in the way we’ve been playing too in the last month, so we’re looking forward to the game and it’s a good test for us.

“We haven’t won away from home since the beginning of the season against Victory and we want to put that right.

“We believe that we are a side that can challenge (for finals) and it’s a test for the players and for us to get a good result in Sydney.”

Veteran midfielder Vince Grella is expected to come off the bench in his long-awaited debut for Heart, while Eli Babalj may feature following his return from Serbian side Red Star Belgrade.

“We’re going to end the season strong,” Aloisi added.

“We’re quite happy with where we’re at.

“Vinnie will play a part in the game; he’s pulled up well from training; he’s looking fit.

“With Eli we’ll just have to wait and see how he feels after the long flight. He’ll fly to Sydney and we’ll make a decision in Sydney.”

Nick Kalmar is likely to come into the side for injured midfielder Fred, while Aloisi will wait to decide on a replacement for suspended defender Aziz Behich.

Fri 25 January, 2013
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