Aloisi starts coaching career in style


Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi admits his team heavily rehearsed the pressing game it used to upset Melbourne Victory 2-1 in its A-League opener.

Outfoxing Ange Postecoglou's men and crosstown rival in front of a huge crowd, with a perfectly employed battle plan.

Aloisi's Melbourne Heart left Etihad Stadium with three well-deserved points, its 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory the club's first opening round win in its three-season history, and a swagger in their step.

Few had considered Heart and its rookie coach as a serious finals contender.

Critics will be reconsidering after Aloisi's clear tactical nous was executed to the letter by his players, some of whom are clearly revitalised under the former Socceroos veteran.

Aloisi said Heart had heavily rehearsed a high pressing game, hoping to stifle Victory coach Ange Postecoglou's noted passing style.

"The players were getting sick of it at training. Players like to touch the ball and feel the ball, but we had to make sure we did it properly," Aloisi said.

"It was important we won our first game, because the last two years we've started slowly. We needed to get off to winning ways.

"Then the players get confidence from a win, and a good performance. We played well, but we know we can still improve a lot more."

Attacker David Williams, who had a less than impressive first season at Heart, was dangerous throughout with six shots on goal including scoring the opener on 14 minutes.

And newcomers Dylan Macallister, who scored the winner in first half stoppage time, and Richard Garcia both starred, with Garcia particularly impressive in central midfield.

"I was happy with everyone, the players who have been here and the new players," Aloisi said.

"I thought Richie, if he wasn't the best player on the park, was one of the best. He really stood up today and showed what he could do."

Meanwhile, a furious Ange Postecoglou has put Victory on notice after its defeat, with the former Brisbane Roar coach adamant mediocrity on his watch won't be tolerated.

The first step in the dual championship-winning coach's Victory revolution was an embarrassing face-plant in front of 42,000 strong crowd.

Postecoglou was incensed afterwards, saying he was happy with nothing in a Victory performance he described as "hugely disappointing".

And he also shouldered the bulk of responsibility, suggesting perhaps he had done something wrong in the build-up to the Victory's attempt to turn around a dismal last season.

"I'm happy with absolutely zero tonight. 42,000 people turn up and we let them down, and I take responsibility for that," Postecoglou said after his first game in charge since leaving Brisbane Roar.

"We didn't really get anywhere near the levels we aspire to and we need to.

"We missed a great opportunity to send our fantastic supporters home with something special.

"I'm not interested in trying to find reasons or excuses.

"We were ready to perform, we were prepared to perform. There was no reason to dish up what we did."