Harry Kewell’s return from injury won’t cure all of Melbourne Heart’s A-League ills, says coach John Aloisi.
Embattled Melbourne Heart boss John Aloisi says Harry Kewell’s return is not a panacea for the club’s A-League ills.
Kewell is set to return from an ankle injury for the winless Heart’s crucial round-eight fixture against Adelaide United at AAMI Park next Sunday as the competition cellar-dwellers desperately seek to kickstart their season.
The Heart suffered their fifth successive loss on Sunday, a 3-1 defeat to Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium.
A defiant Aloisi insisted the Heart will find a way out of the tough predicament they find themselves in and Kewell’s return is a huge boost.
But the rookie manager insisted everything didn’t fall upon his former Socceroos teammate’s shoulders.
“The pressure is not all on Harry,” Aloisi said.
“Because Harry is just one part of the team. He is an extra player. But when you have got the quality that Harry has got then of course it is going to make a difference. You saw the difference that (Emile) Heskey made when he came on today.
“Harry has been through situations like this and this is where players like Harry stand up and the other around him end up growing because they see Harry is out here now.
“Of course he will help but it is not all on him.”
Kewell will play just his second game of the season for the Heart against the Reds after making his club debut against Melbourne Victory in round one.
Aloisi is sure to come under more pressure in the lead-up to the clash with Adelaide but insisted there was light at the end of the tunnel.
“We have to keep working hard and I know we will turn this around,” he said.
“We will end up punishing teams.
“I have been in this situation as a player and I know we can turn this around.”
Aloisi’s Jets counterpart Gary van Egmond said Heart management would be foolish to cut Aloisi’s tenure short.
“I have no doubt he will be a very, very good coach,” van Egmond said.
“He just has to be given some time.”
The Heart are anchored to the bottom of the A-League ladder with just two draws after seven rounds their only points.
At the other end of the competition’s totem pole, Brisbane Roar reclaimed top spot courtesy of their 3-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers in Friday night’s top-of-the-table clash at Suncorp Stadium.
The Jets are third ahead of Sydney FC on goal difference after the Sky Blues’ dramatic 2-1 win over Wellington Phoenix on Saturday at Allianz Stadium.
New Serbian striker Ranko Despotovic scored the match-winner for the hosts only moments after coming on in his debut game.
Phil Moss enjoyed success in his first match in charge of the Central Coast – following Graham Arnold’s departure to the J-League – with a 2-1 win over Perth Glory at nib Stadium.
Melbourne Victory bounced back from successive defeats to the Sydney sides to thrash Adelaide United 3-0.