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Kewell: I feel blame over Aloisi sacking
By Ben McKay
12:15 AEST Thu Jan 16 2014

Harry Kewell has revealed he still feels responsible for John Aloisi's sacking as Melbourne Heart coach as the club seeks to avoid an unwanted A-League record.

Failure to win Friday night's match against Newcastle would make it 20 games without a victory - the longest stretch in A-League history.

The winless streak cost Aloisi his job last month and, in an interview to be broadcast on Friday on SBS, Kewell said a number of players in the Heart dressing room had not given their all for Aloisi.

"If a manager leaves, you've got to feel some responsibility," Kewell said.

"We did look at ourselves and we realised, maybe not all of us put in 100 per cent, myself included."

"John brought me out here and I feel I let him down."

Kewell spent two months on the sidelines as the Heart sank to the bottom of the table and are yet to show consistent form since his return.

As temperatures soared past 40 degrees in Melbourne this week, replacement coach John van't Schip insisted he wasn't feeling the heat from the unwanted winless streak.

"I'm not thinking about those things at all. It's something that goes around in the minds of the players but they should be focused on different things," he said.

The Heart have been boosted by the fitness of midfield giant Orlando Engelaar, who broke his leg in pre-season but will feature against the Jets.

Whether that's in a starting role or off the bench is yet to be decided, though van't Schip is clearly excited by having his marquee man available.

"On the ball, he's a very confident player, he has a good vision of the game and his experience is very important," he said.

Van't Schip will face the returning Kew Jaliens on Friday, a player he selected for the Dutch national side during his time as a coach.

The Jets will be without new signing Joel Griffiths, who is not yet match-fit, and Nathan Burns after his return to Korea following the expiry of his loan deal.

Newcastle, who beat Melbourne Victory 2-1 on their last trip to AAMI Park, could lose their place in the top six without a win against the Heart.

The match is the Heart's 100th in the A-League, with 1000 tickets being given away to celebrate.


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