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Behich gearing up for Derby showdown

Melbourne Heart defender Aziz Behich is ready to find something extra for the derby against his former club Melbourne Victory on Friday.

The left-back moved on from the Victory at the end of the 2009/10 season before finding himself at the Heart for their inaugural A-League campaign.

Behich, 21, became the first player to play for both Melbourne clubs and was sent off in the first derby.

While he said the encounter was just like any other game, he admits taking on the Heart’s rivals helps him lift.

“Every game is the same to me. I just want to win,” Behich told Sportal.

“This season we’ve set ourselves goals and playing against your old team, and obviously being a derby, you get that extra bit of something.

“It’s always good to play in a derby.”

While they have accounted for lower-league friendly opponents during pre-season, Heart have struggled against fellow A-League sides.

A 2-1 loss to Adelaide United was followed by a draw against the Western Sydney Wanderers, while Perth Glory belted them 5-0.

Behich, who attracted interest from Turkish giants Besiktas in July, dismissed his team’s poor form and said they were once again eyeing finals football.

“We’re not worried. We’re pretty confident going into the season,” he said.

“We know our jobs that we’ve got to do. Come Round 1, everything changes.

“We want to do better than what we did last season. We want to be contenders for the title.

“That’s the goal. We want to make finals again.”

Other than a few structural changes, Behich said rookie coach John Aloisi was persisting with how the club played under Dutchman John van ‘t Schip.

“John’s been great. It hasn’t changed too much to what JVS has put in in the past few years,” he said.

“John’s great. He’s had managers himself so he’s teaching us what he’s learnt and what he learned under John van’ t Schip while he was here as well.

“John’s transition has been unbelievable from player to coach straight away. It’s been enjoyable.”

Wed 3 October, 2012
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