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Aloisi's spy call adds heat to derby

ALLEGATIONS of spying on closed training sessions, talk of tackles flying in and the expectation of a physical, high-octane encounter in a fevered atmosphere. Nothing raises emotions like the Melbourne derby, it seems.

On Friday, Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi fanned the flames of controversy by querying whether a person recording his side's closed training session at AAMI Park was a Victory spy.

Victory quickly scoffed at that, but Aloisi's question certainly ratcheted up the temperature ahead of this encounter.

''I did see someone with a camera watching our session. I am not sure if it was Victory, but if it was, it wasn't too good because it's behind closed doors. If they have got someone recording our training session, it's poor,'' the coach said.

''As soon as I started pointing he ran off. We only get to use this ground once every two weeks whenever we play a home game … when we are here we ask for a little bit of respect, and that way we didn't get it today.''

Aloisi's side was poor in its 2-0 loss to Central Coast Mariners last week but the coach insists the team has bounced back in tough training sessions this week.


He will make one change to the starting line-up, bringing back Croatian striker Josip Tadic in place of Dylan Macallister.

''You sense it as a coach, that every player wants to play and do well in the derby so there is not much need for motivation,'' Aloisi says.

Heart got the better of the first meeting this season when it played a high-energy, pressing game, but Aloisi says he will have to refine the approach on Saturday night.

''We know that going forward they are very good, they have four front players that will cause any team problems. Victory are a little bit different now so our tactics can't be exactly the same. Mark Milligan in the midfield gives them a lot of balance so they play a little differently,'' he said.

''But we know how we can hurt them, we know what to do against them.''

Ange Postecoglou, the Victory boss, was bitterly disappointed by his side's defeat in that round-one game.

''There were 42,000 people there that night and that doesn't happen often. We missed an opportunity that day, and that was why I was disappointed,'' he said.

''Tomorrow is another great opportunity to make some special memories for our football club, our fans, and when those come along you want to take them.''

He was complimentary about the opposition, which has been rather inconsistent this season.

''When they have been good they have been really good,'' Postecoglou said.

''They haven't put it together often enough this year, which is why they are where they are.

''But hopefully they do play at their best and we still come out on top.''

Postecoglou said he will go into the game with the same starting line-up that played out the 1-1 draw with Brisbane last weekend.