If John Aloisi’s tenure at Western United proves a success he won’t be considering it third-time lucky, but the result of making the most of past lessons.
The Socceroos great took the reins at the A-League Men club in July – more than two-and-a-half years after his most recent head coach role.
Aloisi resigned as Brisbane Roar boss after a poor start to the 2018-19 season – having previously led them to two semi-finals and an elimination final.
He was previously sacked by the then-lowly Melbourne Heart after just eight wins between 2012 and 2014.
During his time away from coaching – which included missing out on the Melbourne Victory job to Grant Brebner – Aloisi worked as a pundit for Optus Sport but also visited clubs, soaked up experience and contemplated how he could improve.
“I’ve wanted to get back in. It was making sure that it was the right opportunity, the right time,” Aloisi told AAP.
“It’s a club that’s still growing, so I can help and be part of that which is really important for me … there’s a number of younger boys that are in there, so that’s important as well.
“With myself, sometimes you do need a little bit of time away – not always, because you want to try and stay in the job as long as possible.
“But sometimes that little bit of break gives you that that energy that you need again and that experience that you need.
“The more experience you have, the more you actually evolve and get better and understand things that you might have done a little bit different, or things that you did well in the past and see if those things still work.”
Aloisi, 45, could “sense” the lingering disappointment at United from last season, when they finished 10th and sacked predecessor Mark Rudan, and has focused on building confidence.
“The way we want to play, you have to play without fear,” he said.
“If you make a mistake, that happens in football, it’s about rectifying it and making sure that we were together and we work together – instead of complaining and being upset at your teammate without actually helping him out.
“You could still see there was a little bit of that. When you go through a bad patch it is quite tough and players do get down on themselves.
“I don’t mind if someone makes a mistake, trying to do the right things. Then it’s how they react from that mistake.”
Having promised an attacking but hard-working style, Aloisi isn’t putting any limits on what his squad can achieve.
Swiss defender Leo Lacroix, Slovenian midfielder Rene Krhin and young guns Dylan Wenzel-Halls and Noah Botic are among the signings, while the likes of Alessandro Diamanti and Tomoki Imai remain.
“You do need a little bit of luck, of course, with your major players staying on the pitch and making sure that they’re not getting injured,” Aloisi said.
“But I believe with the squad that we’re building that we will have a real go at being there at the end of the season, fighting for silverware.”