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Aloisi welcomes Berisha 'bonus'
08 Nov., 2012 6:13 PM GMT
Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi is relishing the prospect of facing a Brisbane Roar side without key striker Besart Berisha.
The Albanian star will sit out the clash due to groin and abdomen complaints which he has been forced to play with in recent weeks.
The loss of Berisha is a massive blow for the second-last Roar who are attempting to get their season back on track after suffering their worst ever start to a campaign with only four points to show for their first five matches.
A loss to the Heart this week would see Brisbane replace Aloisi's team at the foot of the table and the Melbourne boss intimated the odds of that happening shortened with Berisha missing from the Roar line-up.
"He scored so many goals for them last year, he's a good striker even when he doesn't look like he's involved he seems to pop up and score a goal," Aloisi said at training at AAMI Park on Thursday.
"He's a massive loss for Brisbane of course ... if he's not playing, it's a bonus for us."
But Aloisi pointed out that the Heart had their own personnel concerns with the likes of Fred (injury), David Vrankovic (Young Socceroos) and Ben Garuccio (Young Socceroos) all unavailable.
"It would help if he was playing but we don't want him to come back and reinjure himself and we're making sure that he has a good (fitness) base before he starts playing," Aloisi said.
"We know with Vinnie in the side we're going to be a great side, so we're just making sure that he's going to be right."
The Heart were undefeated against the reigning back-to-back champions last season, registering a win and two draws, and would take confidence from that fact, according to Aloisi.
"We've been pretty good against Brisbane in the past ... we match up quite well against them," he said.