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Del Piero scored a brilliant individual goal late in the first half as the Sky Blues struck twice in two minutes before the break to take a 2-0 lead but was unable to return in the second half.

"He said he couldn't go anymore," Farina said after his side climbed to third place with their sixth victory of the season.

"He just tightened up across the lower back and I think that's what maybe has caused the hamstring problem and it wasn't worth the risk to put him out possibly for another 10 minutes or five minutes so we changed him straight away."

Del Piero has already missed two full games this season and failed to complete three more of his side's 10 matches in the current campaign.

But Farina insists he is not concerned by the 39-year-old's recent run of injuries.

"We knew and expected at some stage throughout the year he would have some problems but as I said three weeks ago he looks after himself extremely well ... so he knows how to manage himself," he said.

Meanwhile, the coach admits his charges got out of jail against the Heart.

The visitors missed several second-half chances including a missed penalty from Harry Kewell and Farina says the Sky Blues must improve markedly despite climbing to third on the ladder.

"I'm under no illusions, we got out of jail today, simple as that," Farina said.

"I wasn't happy with even the first half, we were lucky that we got two individual goals from some brilliance but we've got to get better.

"We played Perth away from home and played very, very well and got nothing, tonight we didn't play well so we'll take the three points.

"I think the boys got frustrated because Melbourne Heart dropped off and just waited for us in their half.

"And then when it wasn't working instead of sticking to what we wanted to do people started doing different things and I think that was born out of frustration so we've got to improve on that."

He praised the efforts of goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic who he says 'saved us points tonight' and also expressed sympathy for besieged Heart coach John Aloisi and backed the former Socceroo to fight his way out of the Heart's current slump.

"Of course (I feel for him)," Farina said of Aloisi whose side is winless in their last 15 A-League games.

"I worked with John for six years in the national team and he's a great lad but he's a strong person.

"If John wasn't as strong as he is he wouldn't be able to do it and I know he'll get through it because they played pretty well tonight and we were lucky.

"So Johnny's going to fight to the end, I can guarantee you that."

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