Aloisi draws on experience in ALM race

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John Aloisi plans to draw on every bit of experience he's had as a player and coach as Western United attempt to pinch the A-League Men premiers plate from Melbourne City's grasp.

United spurned a golden chance to leapfrog City into top spot by losing 1-0 to Central Coast on Saturday and trail the reigning champions by two points and Melbourne Victory, who have played one more game, by one.

Aloisi's charges play Newcastle, who haven't made finals, at McDonald Jones Stadium on Wednesday night, ahead of City facing wooden spooners Perth, and realistically must win to have a chance at claiming their maiden piece of silverware.

While United's premiership hopes aren't entirely in their own hands, Aloisi drew on his experience of a player at Central Coast in 2007-08, stressing they just had to play their part and see how the rest unfolded.

"We know that there's always twists and turns at the end of the season," he said.

"So all you can do is focus on what you're doing and try and get the results you need and then the other results you can't control, but stranger things have happened.

"I've been involved in the last round a few times. I remember once as a player I was at Central Coast and I think we were sitting third and four teams could win it and we won our game and the rest didn't do their job so we ended up winning the premiers plate.

"It's just about focusing on us and making sure that we're prepared for the two games and especially this one tomorrow night, because it's the first one, and making sure that we perform at our best. That's all we can ask for."

Aloisi also just fell short of claiming the premiers plate as Brisbane coach in 2015-16.

United remained in NSW between the loss to the Mariners and facing the Jets away and Aloisi believed that time together would prove a positive.

"Especially after a result that we didn't want, it was good that the group was together and to pick each other up pretty quickly.

"That can only happen when you're in a hub environment."

Steven Lustica (calf) won't play against Newcastle or in Sunday's final regular-season game against Adelaide.

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