Western United Head Coach John Aloisi paid tribute to the culture running through the entire Club after his side earned a big 1-0 over Sydney FC on Wednesday night.
Steven Lustica’s second-half strike earned the Green and Black a massive three points and extended the side’s unbeaten run to six games.
That came after United had laboured through much of the first-half, and Aloisi said the response in the second period was indicative of all the work that had been put in up to this point.
“We spoke a lot about when it’s difficult – because you can’t always play well, and in the first half we weren’t playing well, we realised that,” he said.
“You dig in when things aren’t going for you and you’re finding it tough, and we did. The second half I thought we were really good, we started to get on the ball, started to play through them and we got our just reward when we scored the goal. In the end, I’m so proud of the boys.”
Aloisi admitted that the design of the goal, which saw Aleksandar Prijovic lay the ball off to an oncoming Lustica, had been something the staff had identified and worked on in training with the players.
Following what was a difficult game against Sydney just 11 days prior, United showed great character to stand up again and make sure it held onto the lead this time around.
The win is United’s eighth of the season which already matches the win total from the entirety of last season. When asked what the difference has been between the two campaigns, Aloisi had a clear answer.
“The togetherness of the Club – the team – is massive,” he said.
“You only win football games like that if you’ve got a good group, and a group willing to work for each other, or else you don’t win. That first half – you don’t get through it if you haven’t got a good group and a good culture.
“We spent a lot of time working hard on that during pre-season, making sure the players understand what we’re about as a football club, what we’re about as a team and how to instill that work ethic.”
John Aloisi has returned to coaching with a bang at Western United
Aloisi was out of the professional coaching game for some four years, and was counted out even long before that when he first began his managerial career at Melbourne Heart.
The Socceroos legend said highlighted the key differences between then and now and admitted United was the perfect Club to bring him back into coaching.
“The difference is that you never give up. If you believe in something and you work so hard to achieve something, you keep on persisting,” he said.
“I picked the right club to be at. They’re ambitious, they want to build, they’re on a journey – so am I. So that’s probably the biggest difference.”
Western United currently leads the league by a solitary point from Melbourne City with a game in hand on Patrick Kisnorbo’s side as well.
Now exactly halfway through the season, United has won all but one of its seven home matches and is riding a club-record run of form.
Up next for Aloisi’s side is a trip to its home away from home in Tasmania, though the Green and Black will be the away side on this occasion for a clash against Perth Glory.