Archie: Blame the players, not Aloisi

MELBOURNE Victory striker Archie Thompson feels sorry for John Aloisi, saying the Melbourne Heart coach would not be under pressure had his under-performing players taken their chances this season.

Victory will start as hot favourites in Saturday night's Melbourne derby at AAMI Park, where a loss would heighten scrutiny on both Aloisi and counterpart Kevin Muscat. 

"(People) are saying the two coaches are under pressure. Which is bizarre to me because I actually think there is just one (Aloisi)," Thompson said at training on Thursday. 

"I feel for Aloisi because they are not giving their best for him. Everyone points the finger at the coach when things aren't going right. 

"It baffles me to see where they are on the ladder when I see the squad they have. If they had of capitalised on a lot of the chances they have had, they would be a lot further up the table. 

"I only hear good reports, when I speak to Harry (Kewell) and a couple of other guys, about how good the training is under Aloisi and how good a coach he is," he said. 

Despite 11 points separating fourth-placed Victory and bottom-placed Heart, who are yet to register a win in 10 games, Thompson thinks Heart will pose a threat on Saturday. 

He said Victory had this week planned to keep Heart's goal-starved striker Michael Mifsud in his current form slump. 

"Mifsud is misfiring at the moment. You don't want somebody like that to get a goal because it breeds confidence, and being a striker, I know when you have a little spell of missing chance, you get one and you get on a roll," he said.

"We have to be wary of him because I think he has been one of their better players without capitalising on the positions he gets himself into." 

Thompson also found time for a cheeky jibe when referring to Victory's Melbourne enemy. 

"It is a real rivalry. But it is hard because when you look at the stadium and you look at the supporters and the crowd attendance – 95 per cent of it is ours. 

"I have said so many times that in derby matches you forget where each team is on the ladder, but obviously Heart are on the bottom – let's not forget that. 

"That's just me adding a little spice to the derby, I'm sure I will now cop a lot of abuse on Twitter by the lovely Heart supporters." 

It is unclear whether Thompson will start on Saturday night, having spent the past fortnight sidelined with a hamstring strain. 

"I have trained this week and I am not having any problems. It's up to Kevin whether he decides to start me," he said. 

 

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