John Aloisi and Western United appear to be a match made in heaven — the side is back at the top of the A-League Mens ladder.
With each passing win, Western United continues to firm as an A-League Men‘s premiership favourite.
United returned to the top of the table after dispatching Perth Glory 2-0 in Tasmania, extending its undefeated run to a club-record seven straight games and taking its overall points tally to 29 – one more than they had for the entirety of last season.
John Aloisi‘s impact at the helm has been profound, instilling a new-found belief along with a hard-nose defensive edge and decisiveness going forward, making them one of the competition’s most formidable outfits.
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Since taking over in the off-season, Aloisi said “a lot” had changed at the club, particularly his side’s mindset.
“There was a lot of work put in the off-season by not only the coaching staff and the players but the club in general. The club is on a journey. The club knows it needs to grow on and off the field, it needs to improve. And the players know that,” Aloisi said.
“We’ve spoken about certain things that they didn’t do last season and, not even talking about the tactics and the technical side of things, we’re talking about looking for excuses when things didn’t go so well.
“Looking for excuses about ‘we haven’t got a home, we’re playing in four different stadiums’.
“I was very quick to mention that to the players at the beginning of the season. We know what we’ve got, we know where we’re headed. Let’s enjoy the journey … and every obstacle that’s in front of us and let’s adapt. The boys have done that from day one of pre-season.
“We’ve had many tough times, so when it’s a tough time during a game they can go off that. I think that‘s the biggest thing.
“We’ve been fortunate enough to get results not only early in the season but sustain that … We’re on the right track.”
After a tough stretch of games, Aloisi was delighted with the Perth result, again putting it down to the players; strong mentality for getting through a hectic week.
“I was pleased with the performance tonight because it was the end of a tough week. Three games in a week. We had to travel here (Tasmania) of course,” Aloisi said.
“This group is made up of different stuff, they’re a strong group that enjoy each other’s company and also they’re up for the challenge and you saw that tonight.”
Meanwhile, Perth Glory coach Richard Garcia admitted the toll of being away from home was catching up with his players but believed the performance against United would provide his squad with confidence going forward.
“It’s getting to that point where … yeah … heads and eyes are looking at the return,“ Garcia said.
“It is about trying to refocus the guys and trying to keep the focus on the football. Today, I thought the performance was a lot better, it’s heading in the direction we want to head.
“I thought it was a massive improvement and will give us confidence going into the (Melbourne) City game.
“And then we’re heading home. That’s a big one. I think there are a few tired minds and a few tired bodies out there.”