Heart coach John Aloisi concedes his side struggles playing outside of Melbourne after they were totally out-classed by Western Sydney.
Heart coach John Aloisi concedes his side struggles playing outside of Melbourne after they were totally out-classed by a 10-man Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday night.
The Heart played more than 75 minutes with a numerical advantage but still couldn't come away with a win, eventually undone by Shinji Ono's 73rd-minute penalty.
It means the Heart are still yet to win a match outside of Melbourne this season from eight attempts.
Aloisi was furious with his side's effort and said there was no excuses for the way they performed against 10 men.
"We can't be performing like that, it's just not good enough. We were flat form word go, we weren't good at all," he said.
"And that's from everyone. Not just a few individuals.
"Don't worry about players being out. Everyone talks about Fred being out, Simon Colosimo and Aziz (Behich).
"But we've got a squad and the squad has to turn up and play no matter who plays.
"There will be a lot of discussions during the week again and we need to make sure we're ready to go against Melbourne (Victory)."
With the Heart winning three of their last four clashes before the Wanderers match, Aloisi was at a loss to explain why his side seemed to lack confidence.
He believes the early sending off of Wanderers defender Jerome Polenz may have worked against his side in the end.
"It just seems like the players can switch off a bit against 10 (men)," Aloisi said.
"They think it's a bit easier and stop doing the job they should be doing like they are when it's 11 v 11.
"They start to stop making that extra run or those few yards to get back in and they ended up doing that all night.
"They totally outplayed us. They were better than us which is disappointing because 10 against 11 you expect it to be the other way around."
If there was a positive for the Heart it was the return to first team football of veteran Vince Grella.
The Socceroos midfielder played his first competitive match since September 2011, coming off the bench for the last 23 minutes and, along with Eli Babalj, will give Aloisi more options for the rest of the season.
"I was pleased for him it's been a long time since he's played," the Heart boss said of Grella.
"I'm pleased to see Eli (Babalj) out there. He'll be better for this run.
"He's hungry, he wants to do well. The future looks bright in that sense but it's hard to pick any positives out of tonight."
Aloisi also said he would do everything in his power to keep Behich from being the latest player to leave the club, with Turkish side Buraspor reportedly interested in signing the young left-back.
"I don't want to lose anymore players," he said.
"We've lost a lot of players already this season, before the season started and then Michael Marrone during the season.
"Unless the club gets a massive offer and up above they say we have to sell him...but if it's up to me he's not going."