Full Squad Bolsters Heart’s Finals Ambitions


Having toiled away with a squad depleted through international duty and injury for much of the New Year, Melbourne Heart FC’s luck has finally turned the corner.

Having toiled away with a squad depleted through international duty and injury for much of the New Year, Melbourne Heart FC-s luck has finally turned the corner.

Ahead of the Club-s potentially season turning trip to Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, Head Coach John van ‘t Schip will have a full squad to call upon for the first time in three months.

“A lot of competition within the team to get players in the line-up and I think that’s only a good thing,” he said.

“Of course it’s helping getting the players back on time and with the important games coming up. It’s very promising and I think we’re getting stronger as a team.”

With only four weeks remaining until the Hyundai A-League Finals Series is underway, Heart is locked in a tight battle to secure its place in the top six for the first time in Club history.

While only a fortnight ago, the likelihood of Heart hosting a home final appeared rather bleak, back-to-back victories over Gold Coast United and the Central Coast Mariners have reinvigorated the side-s hopes, closing to within three points of third placed Wellington Phoenix, and a point of Perth Glory.

However, facing the prospect of a journey north to Suncorp Stadium this Friday night, where Heart will look to challenge the competition-s in-form side and claim its second victory of the season at the venue, van ‘t Schip has urged his side to ignore the Hyundai A-League table.

Instead, van ‘t Schip will call on his charges to simply focus on the next 90 minute battle facing his side as opposed to hypothesising on result permutations or any potential finals encounters which may arise down the track.

“I don’t want to count, I just want to look ahead and get as much as possible points and it’s easy to have a calculation up but I don’t think we should do that,” he said.

“The most important thing is to look ahead now – Brisbane now is a very difficult game. They are back in there best way of playing and it’s going to be a hard game up there, so I’m not going to count.”

“For us now, what counts is getting into the finals and of course that’s what I said from the beginning, the higher we can have our position on the ladder the better but for us from the season on we said we want to get into the finals and that’s our first option.”