Van 't Schip: The Past Doesn't Count

Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John van ‘t Schip has admitted he is torn over how to cover the substantial absence of creative fulcrum Gerald Sibon against Wellington Phoenix.

Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John van ‘t Schip has admitted he is unsure how to cover the substantial absence of creative fulcrum Gerald Sibon against Wellington Phoenix.

The towering attacker has flourished since his move to a new midfield role, providing Heart with poise and vision in transition though his incisive passes and ability to draw teammates into the play.

But after the former Ajax and PSV front man was hit with a two-match ban, van ‘t Schip has been forced to review his options.

With Simon Colosimo returning to the squad through injury, van ‘t Schip admitted the Heart skipper could make an immediate return to the side-s starting eleven, allowing utility Matt Thompson to shift to a preferred midfield role.

However, the success of the Thompson-Michael Beauchamp central defensive partnership against Victory has left van ‘t Schip with an intriguing selection dilemma.

“Simon's back. His neck injury is ok to play. He's ruled out that it's a big risk for him to play. He has trained very well this week, he's back in the squad,” he said.

“(Leaving Thompson in defence) could be one of the possibilities, because he was one of the reasons that we played a very good game against Victory.

“If things go good, you should also have a good thought about why it went good. Sometimes there are decisions you have to make which aren-t easy.”

Unbeaten in 23-games at Westpac Stadium, Heart-s trip to Wellington sees the competition newcomer seek to become the first side in nearly two-years to claim three-points at the venue.

While van ‘t Schip said the prospect of potentially ending the Phoenix-s imposing home streak would be a motivating force for Heart heading into the match, he warned his side against becoming complacent after the stirring derby win over Victory.

“Victory was great, we played very well and got great exposure. But that's past, and the past doesn't count. The next game is the most important one, and we should be aware of that,” he said.

“We have a group with a lot of experience and a lot of talented players. But to be a good team you need each other on the pitch. We showed that against the Victory, we didn't show it against Brisbane. That is the big lesson we must take to Wellington.”

With Aziz Behich out through suspension, Dean Heffernan is likely to make an immediate return to the starting line-up.