In-form Western eager for Bulls ALM test

Ed Jackson |

Flying high following Saturday’s 1-0 victory over reigning A-League Men’s champions Melbourne City, Western United coach John Aloisi is backing form and confidence to override any fatigue against Macarthur FC.

Aloisi’s team face the Bulls at Campbelltown Stadium on Tuesday, just three days after their hard-fought victory over City at AAMI Park.

That win – Western’s second 1-0 success over City this season – has lifted the team into second on the ladder, only goal difference keeping them behind top-of-the-table Melbourne Victory.

“We’re pretty pleased with how things are going,” Aloisi told AAP.

“We understand it’s still a long way to go and we’ve still got a lot of improving to do but we’re picking up wins, we’re playing pretty well.

“Tuesday’s another test for us but at the moment it’s going pretty well.”

Aloisi will welcome Tomoki Imai back into his squad after the Japanese defender was suspended for the City match.

Having made just one substitution in Saturday’s win, Aloisi says he’ll definitely be making changes to his starting XI to face the Bulls as the league enters a busy period of make-up games due to COVID-19 postponements around Christmas and the New Year.

“See how they recover tomorrow. I haven’t made a decision on anyone yet but if we need to rotate and bring in fresher legs, younger players that haven’t had the minutes as much as these other players then you know we’ll do that because we have full faith in the squad,” he said.

“We’re going to need to rotate – that’s 100 per cent. You’ll see changes, just don’t know who yet.”

Tuesday’s match is Macarthur’s first game since a Boxing Day defeat to Sydney FC as COVID-19 outbreaks wreaked havoc on Ante Milicic’s squad as well as various opponents.

The return to action should feature a new face, with fringe Socceroo Apostolos Giannou joining the club earlier this month.

“I’ve liked him as a player and followed him,” Aloisi said of the Bulls’ new signing.

“He’s a big target man, works hard for his team and we’re going to have to be well prepared and organised to stop their attack.”