Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi labelled Jacob Burns ‘disrespectful’ after his altercation with the Perth Glory captain on Saturday.
A stray arm from Glory defender Dean Heffernan caught forward Josip Tadic just before half-time of Heart’s 1-0 win at AAMI Park.
An unhappy Burns confronted a floored Tadic, suggesting the Croatian had gone down easily.
Burns and Aloisi then exchanged words as the players went down the tunnel at the break, and the Heart coach said he was unhappy with the midfielder.
“At half-time I was chatting with the fourth official, letting him know that they do that quite often,” Aloisi said afterwards.
“A few of their players, once our player releases the ball, they either foul them a little bit or go through them a little bit.
“I was just having a discussion with the fourth official and then Jacob Burns comes in and interrupts and gets in my face, which I found a bit disrespectful from an opposition player.
“I just told him to get away – probably not in those words – because I’m talking to the fourth official which has got nothing to do with him so that’s where it ended up.
“I don’t think it’s right for an opposition player to come in and chat with a coach. If one of my players did that, I wouldn’t be too happy.”
Perhaps inspired by Aloisi’s actions or the half-time team talk, Heart came out the better side in the second half and Golgol Mebrahtu struck an 89th-minute winner.
Aloisi had spoken during the week about not wanting his side to be bullied again by Glory, who have dominated his club in the past, and said he was proud of Heart in the second half.
“He (Burns) certainly wasn’t going to bully me. I know that for sure. Maybe the players saw that and in the second half they weren’t going to get bullied were they?” he said.
“It’s one of those games. They’re a good side, I’m not saying they’re just a physical side, they’re a good footballing side, they’ve got great players all over the park.
“But we need to match them physically and in the second half we did.”
Glory coach Ian Ferguson played down the incident and said Heffernan’s contact with Tadic was incidental.
“I asked Heff what happened and Heff just said he thinks he’s connected with him with his hand,” he said.
“There was no intent. He said… the two of them have clashed together.
“Down the tunnel… a player and a coach arguing. There wasn’t much in it at all.”