Despite sitting bottom of the A-League table, Melbourne Heart defender Simon Colosimo still believes his side can make the finals.
After beating city rivals Melbourne Victory 2-1 on the opening day of the season, the Heart have struggled, winning just two of their next 12 matches.
But the nature of the A-League, which sees six sides make the finals in a 10-team competition, means that things can change very quickly.
And Colosimo is confident that with 14 matches remaining in the season, Heart – who are just four points off the top six – will be involved in the post-season.
“The table doesn’t lie,” Colosimo said on Monday.
“It’s been a couple of things we’ve done as individuals. We’re probably just letting ourselves down.
“Tomorrow we can say we’ll put last year behind us and start the new year. No-one is happy with where we are sitting on the table but they (the team) are in good spirits because we do believe that we are going to have a good run-in and that we are going to play finals football.
“We know we have got a tough run home but (it is) something that we are all looking forward to. There’s still confidence we’ve got the right formula and the right players. We’ll fix that and we still believe that we’ll be playing finals.”
Colosimo and Liberian defender Patrick Gerhardt will return from suspension for Tuesday’s home fixture against the Newcastle Jets.
The pair will add steel to a Heart defence which threw away a 2-0 lead in New Zealand last week, with Wellington Phoenix eventually winning 3-2.
Socceroos Richard Garcia and Aziz Behich will also be included in the side after they were rested upon their return from international duty.
“Definitely,” said Colosimo when asked if the inclusions could transform the Heart’s fortunes.
“The competition for places that is going to inject to life, because you know that if you don’t play at the standards that’s expected of you, you might not be playing next week.”
Colosimo will be tasked with keeping Emile Heskey and Ryan Griffiths quiet on Tuesday, with the former netting his seventh A-League goal of the season in a 3-2 loss to Victory.
And he is wary of a Jets side who he described as ‘very dangerous going forward’.
“They have some got great individuals,” he said.
“They’ve played really good in patches. There’s always talk about Heskey. He’s got seven (goals) now in the A-League so of course there’s going to be talk.
“Not only because he’s a big unit but he knows how to score goals and he really helps their team link up. But it’s not only about him. Ryan Griffiths, we know, can turn a game very quickly.
“Ruben Zadkovich is playing really well so it’s not about one individual. It’s about containing them as a group.”