JVS stands by Aloisi call

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip felt the decision to leave behind striker John Aloisi was the right one despite watching his side go down 2-0 to Wellington Phoenix on Wednesday night.

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip felt the decision to leave behind striker John Aloisi was the right one despite watching his side go down 2-0 to Wellington Phoenix on Wednesday night.

Aloisi didn't travel to the New Zealand capital with van 't Schip wanting him fresh for Saturday's match against Sydney instead.

His replacement Alex Terra missed several good chances at Westpac Stadium in a match that was finely poised for just over 60 minutes before a Paul Ifill double and the sending off of Matt Thompson finally proved Heart's undoing.

The defeat was the Heart's third in a row but the coach was adamant that Aloisi's exclusion was not a gamble that backfired.

"John can't play two games in a row with the travel so that wasn't even an issue," the Dutchman said. "I don't think it was a gamble because we've talked about it before. We have to see in what way we can use John in the coming game."

Terra hasn't been playing regularly and his rustiness in front of goal showed.

He blasted over the bar in a one-on-one with Phoenix keeper Mark Paston in the first half then shot straight at Paston midway through the second stanza before being unable to scramble the ball home after Gerald Sibon had been denied by the New Zealand shot-stopper.

"If you play more regularly then you will feel more comfortable of course," van 't Schip said. "But you can see he's dangerous when he plays up there. His first touch is good and he can create something on his own as well. The ball ending up in the net is something different and that didn't work out this evening."

"Hopefully with the minutes he's had now that will come."

Van 't Schip had no argument with Thompson's dismissal after he collected his second yellow card for a clumsy challenge on Ifill in the 70th minute.

It means the defender will be ruled out for Saturday's match in Melbourne, meaning a possible start for teenager Brendan Hamill.

"It's something we're going to discuss (on Thursday)," said van 't Schip. "The last four games he's played were with the (Australia) Under-20s in China. He played a friendly game with our reserves a week ago, but that was only for 45 minutes. But if he has to (play) he has to."

Van 't Schip remained confident the team could turn things around against Sydney.

"We're not playing badly and the organisation we had today, there was nothing wrong with that. You're not seeing a team that doesn't know what to do or is struggling or out of form," he insisted.

"But the results tell you a different story. If you don't finish chances that you get it's difficult."