Heart can cover injured stars

Melbourne Heart goes into Sunday's clash against Perth Glory without the services of John Aloisi, Josip Skoko and Michael Beauchamp, but keeper Clint Bolton believes his side have the depth to cover for their absence.

Melbourne Heart goes into Sunday's clash against Perth Glory without the services of John Aloisi, Josip Skoko and Michael Beauchamp, but keeper Clint Bolton believes his side have the depth to cover for their absence.

Aloisi is yet to make his debut for the club after off-season hamstring surgery and is expected to return next week, while Skoko will miss another month with his own hamstring strain. Beauchamp became the latest experienced member of the squad to go down, injuring an ankle in last week's loss to Adelaide, ruling him out for two weeks.

It's a difficult situation for Heart, who are yet to register their first win, but Bolton believes there is adequate back-up to fill the void and get a breakthrough result against the Glory.

"We've certainly got the squad to get a result. Without those three players, I'm still confident we can get a result," Bolton told Melbourne radio station SEN on Thursday.

Coach John van 't Schip is likely to use Brendan Hamill to fill the gap left by Beauchamp's injury, while Wayne Srhoj slotted in for Skoko last week.

Bolton acknowledged that two losses and a draw was hardly the ideal start, but said the longer season meant the pressure wasn't as intense as it was in the past to get off to a flying start.

"Everyone said from day one how good the squad looked on paper. But the games aren-t played on paper. There's a lot of expectation, but it's still early days," he said.

"In the first year of the A-League, there was 21 games and you had to get off to a good start. There's 30 games now, so there's no panic from the coaches or the players yet."

"We know we are not far off from a win. It will only take that one win tog et the ball rolling and get a bit of momentum."

Meanwhile, Aloisi feels that the competition has improved again this year and that has contributed to a difficult first month for the fledgling club.

"This year is as strong as it has been. All the sides are doing well. Perth have started really well, North Queensland have made it difficult for all the opposition. So there's no easy team. We would have liked to have started better but we understand that it-s not that easier," he said.

Aloisi believes that clubs have become much better-organised and that particularly hurts a brand new outfit like Heart.

"I think it's more organised. I'd have to say the coaches who have come in from overseas have been very good. The teams are very organised," he said.