Mate, we can make the finals

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After a win against league leaders Brisbane Roar,  Melbourne Heart take on Melbourne Victory in the third instalment of the Melbourne Derby this season.

The games been stoked with passion and shock in the past and in the lead up to the derby, Mate Dugandzic, believes Heart should keep it as normal as they can with all the atmosphere that surrounds the fixture.

“Obviously try and keep (preparation) as normal as you possibly can, try and approach it as any other game,” Dugandzic said.

“The players know and everyone involved in the club know it’s not any game; it’s a derby and obviously everyone’s looking forward to it.”

But as the form team of the competition with five wins in the last six games Heart must be beaming with confidence. The young Heart attacker is quietly confident of a late finals push after a “fantastic” few weeks.

“The last six weeks have been fantastic for us, we could’ve won six out of six if it wasn’t for (Ryan) Griffiths scoring in the 90th minute in Adelaide.

“We’re fairly confident if we keep up the results going we can make (finals).”

The suspension to defender Patrick Gerhardt comes at a fortuitous time with the return of Robert Wielaart, however, interim-boss John van’t Schip has kept his cards closely to his chest when talking about a replacement for the suspended Aziz Behich.

“We will see that tommorrow,” Van’t Schip said regarding Behich’s potential replacement.

After Harry Kewell suffered an injury in Albury a few weeks ago, Van’t Schip’s been impressed with the former Liverpool man in training and may look to pick him in Saturday night’s derby against his former club Melbourne Victory.

“Harry (Kewell) started his first training session with the group, and looked very good. So he’s certainly in consideration for being at the game tomorrow.”

When asked whether he’d feature in tomorrow’s derby Van’t Schip replied, “If he’s OK, he’s OK to play.

“We’ll decide (whether he’ll play) tomorrow.”

Heart boss John van’t Schip is glad Kewell’s regaining fitness. The Dutchman highly rates the veteran footballer and believes he’s lifted the team, contributing to the sides recent upturn in form.

“(Kewell’s) important to the group and the team.

“His experience can lift a game and lift other players, so we’ve seen his impact in the games that he’s had.

“We’re happy he’s feeling OK again.”

Ahmed Yussuf

ahmed mag pic Ahmed is a Melbourne-based writer, and one of the founders of Football Central. He's written in football culture magazine Thin White Line and others, and along with writing puff pieces, he hosts and produces podcasts in association with Football Central.  You can follow him on Twitter: @ahmedyussuf10

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