EXCLUSIVE: Melbourne Heart attacking midfielder Nick Kalmar is in line for a start against Sydney FC tonight at AAMI Park as the club searches for its first win of the season.
Heart are winless in the A-League since February and have only picked up two points out of a possible 30 since their last victory, coincidentally against Sydney FC at home.
The club has been missing the likes of Harry Kewell, Patrick Kisnorbo and Orlando Engelaar for most of the campaign.
David Williams has been filling in for the injured Kewell in the playmaker role since round two, but coach John Aloisi is expected to shake things up as the club searches for that elusive victory.
“The players have worked really hard this week,” Aloisi said yesterday. “We know that we need a win.
“We are disappointed that we haven’t got a win yet, but the performances have deserved more, and deserved wins, and now it’s making sure that we turn those performances into wins.
“We are making sure we keep on improving as a side and we are doing that, we are improving as a side and we will get better.
“There will probably be a couple of changes… could be more attacking options rather than defensive options.”
Aloisi is one to keep his cards close to his chest prior to kick-off, but Kalmar is a big chance to be handed his first start since Heart’s 2-0 loss against Adelaide United at AAMI Park in March.
“Nicky’s had a disruptive pre-season, but he showed on the weekend when he came in that he’s feeling good and feeling better,” Aloisi added.
“(He) gives us something different as well. He’s got those midfield runs into the box, he’s good in the air and he’s got a great through ball.
“I’m sure that if he does play he can give a couple of passes through to Michael (Mifsud) or our wingers.”
Kalmar has struggled to hold down a regular spot in the team in his three years at the club but is hoping fortunes will finally turn his way.
“It probably wasn’t the best pre-season I had,” Kalmar said. “I missed a little bit through an injury problem that I had so I was just trying to get fit.
“It was good to get a run last week. Although we did lose, I felt good coming on having a bit of a run.
“I’ve had a big last two weeks being put through my paces and my fitness level feels a lot better at the moment.
“I’m just itching to get out there and play as much as I can, and continue on from last year some of the form that I’ve showed, and do what I can for the team and hopefully turn things around for us.
“Hopefully I can put in some good performances and keep my spot over a period of time and I’m sure consistency will come.”