Former Melbourne Heart defender Simon Colosimo has credited the playing group for turning the club’s fortunes around and continuing to work hard through a difficult period.
Heart smashed Wellington Phoenix 5-0 on the weekend, the first time the club had won away from Melbourne in two years. The Victorian club remains on the bottom of the A-League ladder after a horror start to the season but is unbeaten in its last five matches, securing four wins and a draw.
Colosimo, who played 63 games for Heart over three seasons, believes the change in coach and owners has meant little in regards to the recent revival.
“Whether Heart got sold or didn’t get sold, who the coach was or wasn’t, what’s going in the background at board level or management level, players can’t worry about that,” the 35-year old centre back said.
“They just need to get along and do their business. It’s just a case of the ball hitting the post and going in, hitting the right balance, I don’t know. But one thing that I’ve seen is those players have stood up. They’re the guys who deserve the kudos, the players. They’ve come out.
“What has really changed in the background? If you really think about it, apart from a document that says the owners have changed, a little bit of coaching staff but yeah at the end of the day it’s not like new players have come in. These players have really turned a corner and I’m proud of every one of them.”
Colosimo, who left Heart in 2013 to join Indian outfit Dempo SC, said he was disappointed with the club’s poor start to the 2013-2014 A-League season.
“When you look at the A-League, with the salary cap and squad sizes, you’re splitting hairs,” he said. “When you have a big turnover at a club, personnel-wise, there’s always going to be that element of it.
"But if you start matching up teams player for player and go through the list, every squad is pretty much of a muchness. So it’s about finding that balance.
“Was I surprised? Disappointed, yes. Because I know how the players work. And they were wearing a lot of the brunt. Questions were aksed about the players, how much they were giving, whether they were putting everything in, and there’s one thing that I saw is that every player was working hard.
“At the end of the day, as long as you continue to do that, eventually, you’ll score your hat-trick like Willo [David Williams] did.”
Melbourne Heart had a lot of upheaval in their playing squad for this season, with 11 new players arriving and 11 departing. It also had to do without injured pair Orlando Engelaar and Harry Kewell for the opening rounds. Coach John Aloisi was sacked in December and John van’t Schip appointed as his replacement.
“The structure’s changed slightly, tactically not a hell of a lot but they’ve got some fit bodies,” Colosimo said. “Again the ball going in, it’s one of those.
"With [Michael] Mifsud it didn’t matter what, it wasn’t because he wasn’t trying, wasn’t because of the process or whatever - it wouldn’t go in for him. They’ve found balance and I can still see him coming in and having an impact and scoring some goals at some stage.
"It’s football. Football’s not as complicated as a lot of the pundits make it out to be. You work hard, get your structures right and you get reward.”
With confidence rising and a bit of luck on the side, Colosimo wouldn’t rule out a late and improbable finals run for Heart.
“I think that every team believes they’ve got a crack at it,” he said. “And Heart don’t seem to be looking, early in the season they were talking about the end of the season. This is where we want to finish, this is what we want to achieve.
“I still believe their discussions in the changerooms, they’re not discussions for anyone outside. Now they’ve genuinely come in and said you know what, we’re going to concentrate this weekend against Wellington, we’re going to concentrate on this weekend against Brisbane.
"They’ve been told to do that week-by-week. They haven’t worried about anything beyond what’s coming up on the weekend.”comments