ALM history no concern to bullish Aloisi
History means nothing for Western United coach John Aloisi as his team prepare to take on Wellington Phoenix in Saturday's A-League Men's elimination final.
The Phoenix have an outstanding record against their opponents, winning six of their eight ALM matches against Western since the Victorian team's entry into the competition in 2019.
That record doesn't include finals matches however, with Western's sole finals campaign featuring matches against Brisbane and Melbourne City in their debut season.
It is, in Aloisi's mind, an important distinction.
"We've got players that love this occasion," Aloisi said.
"We've got experienced players that have been in these situations, in these finals games before.
"I don't think we've played Wellington in the finals. This is a new one for the boys.
"The normal season's out the window.
"This is a finals game and our boys, I know that they'll be able to step up for these games."
Western are coming into the finals on the back of a three-game winless run while Wellington are aiming to end a run of five playoff matches in Australia without success.
The hosts have confirmed star Italian Alessandro Diamanti will not feature in the finals after undergoing an arthroscope on his injured knee while defenders Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Steven Lustica are also sidelined.
The Phoenix meanwhile have joint top scorer Jaushua Sotirio back from a calf strain and influential midfielder Clayton Lewis fighting for a start after returning from an ankle injury off the bench against Melbourne City on Monday.
"I always believe that my squad is good enough to win every game and having these players back and having them involved doesn't just give me the confidence, but also gives the group confidence," Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay said.
"It's great that they're back and it gives us that extra boost and extra depth that we need in case the game does go to 120 minutes."