Melbourne City vs. Melbourne Victory  1 - 2


Postecoglou desperate for derby win

21 December 2012 04:31

Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou says he is desperate to reverse the club's poor record in the Melbourne derby on Saturday night.

Victory head into their eighth meeting against cross-town rivals Heart with just one triumph, which came more than two years ago when a Robbie Kruse brace helped them to a 3-1 win.

Postecoglou - who managed the Brisbane Roar for four years and led them to two A-League titles - has only experienced one derby as a coach.

And it ended sourly with the Heart - who have emerged victorious in three of seven clashes - winning 2-1 in front of over 42,000 fans at Etihad Stadium in Round 1.

"I guess the Round 1 defeat hammers it (importance of the match) home to you," Postecoglou told reporters at the club's training session on Friday.

"I understand how important this is for everyone associated with our football club. The supporters want desperately to win. Everyone involved in our football club is desperate to win, as am I. We need to win tomorrow night.

"(In Round 1) we missed a great opportunity. We just didn't show it on the day. Tomorrow is another great opportunity to make some special memories for our football club, our fans and when those come along, you want to take them."

Slight fitness concerns over Billy Celeski (back) and Mark Milligan (hamstring) will not stop them playing, with Postecoglou confirming that the same 11 who started last week's 1-1 draw against Brisbane Roar would 'definitely' start the match against the Heart.

Most of the seven Melbourne derbies have been fiery affairs, with an average of six cards dished out per match.

Three players have also been given red cards - most notably Kevin Muscat for his crude challenge on then-Heart attacker Adrian Zahra - and Postecoglou is expecting another physical battle, although he says his players know where the line is.

"It'll be physical - physical in football terms, which makes it a good contest," he said.

"There's human emotions involved and there's going to be a full house and an unbelievable atmosphere. Everyone is looking forward to it and when there's that kind of energy in a game, people are going to push the limits of everything.

"We want to see a cracking game and the physical stuff is part of it. We want to play with a good energy and passion for a contest. (There's) no point going out there being sterile about things. The players know where the boundaries are (though)."

Despite the match being hosted by Heart, Postecoglou believes the vocal support from his club's fans will make it 'feel like a home game and that can only help'.

Victory sit third on the A-League table with 17 points, five more than the eighth-placed Heart.


Victory determined to restore order

20 December 2012 05:38

Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Nathan Coe says his side are eager to stamp their authority on Saturday's derby clash with Melbourne Heart.

In seven meetings between the two teams, Victory have prevailed only once, with new boys Heart winning three times and the other three draws, surprising form given Victory are the more established club with two A-League titles to their name.

Victory were beaten by their city rivals 2-1 in their season opener and, ahead of his first Melbourne derby, the 28-year-old shot-stopper said his team were determined to redress the balance at AAMI Park.

"Anytime you lose a derby it's not a fun thing," Coe said after training at Gosch's Paddock on Thursday.

"So this weekend's a chance to change that and go forward and set it right.

"The ones in the past are in the past. What we can do is go out this weekend and move in the right direction and show who is the bigger club, I guess.

"Everyone's been talking about it and telling me about it so I can't wait to get out there. AAMI Park's a fantastic atmosphere and so a derby's going to even better."

Coe said the match was an important one for both teams, with third-placed Victory looking to close the nine-point gap on leaders Central Coast, while the Heart are third from bottom.

"I think everyone's looking forward to it, everyone's been talking about it. It's a pretty important time for both teams," Coe said.

"We're looking to win and close the gap on the top two."

However, the goalkeeper insisted the team would not let derby fever take precedence over the development of their own game.

"We've been concentrating on ourselves and winning each game, winning each week and pushing forward and playing the football that we want to play," he said.

A-League table

# Team MP D P
1 27 +20 57
2 27 +26 54
3 27 +3 44
4 27 +1 41
5 27 +4 35
6 27 -2 32
7 27 -10 32
8 27 -15 31
9 27 -9 27
10 27 -18 27