Despite possessing a near full strength squad ahead of tomorrow night’s clash, Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John van't Schip remains wary of a Sydney FC side fresh from a ‘scintillating’ 5-0 win against Melbourne opposition.
Despite possessing a near full strength squad ahead of tomorrow night-s clash, Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John van't Schip remains wary of a Sydney FC side fresh from a ‘scintillating- 5-0 win against Melbourne opposition.
Frank Farina-s team will arrive at AAMI Park tomorrow night with their tails up, having emphatically dispatched Melbourne Victory FC last weekend, but van-t Schip is confident his team can achieve a result in light of recent improvement and renewed optimism from the Red and White.
"They [Sydney] played very well [in the] last game against the Victory,” van-t Schip said.
"It-s of course a result that will give them a big boost; for us now it-s important to make sure we are prepared and to continue improving our game."
Click play on the video below to watch the full press conference.
A key aspect of Sydney-s win last week was the performance of captain and marquee Alessandro Del Piero, who scored two of the team-s five goals, and John van-t Schip has pinpointed the Italian as an obvious danger man.
"He's smart," van't Schip said. "He knows how to play the game, he knows where to find spaces, be important without making too many runs. We have to have respect for a player like Del Piero.
"If you can decide so many games when you're 39 and be important for your team, then there's only one thing and that's having respect for a player."
Del Piero has also struck two goals against Melbourne Heart this season, but van-t Schip emphasised that tomorrow night would be a much different encounter to the last time Sydney visited AAMI Park in Round 6, in which Melbourne went down 0-2.
"Every game is different; we are about six or seven games further [along] and a lot of things have changed," van't Schip said.
"They have made some changes and they had some bad results after that [game].
"We have made some changes in the way we play and some players that are playing so it-s a totally different game."
Having trained with the group this morning after recovering from ankle injuries during the week, attacker David Williams and defender Patrick Gerhardt have been included in the squad for tomorrow night, giving van-t Schip a selection headache.
"They are fit and they are training," van't Schip said of the pair. "We have a big group to make a choice from."
That group also includes marquee Orlando Engelaar and Jonatan Germano, who have enjoyed successful returns from injury in recent weeks.
"[Engelaar] is making progress," van't Schip said. "He was out for a long time but the positive is he played for almost an hour at a high level that he is getting used to how the game is played here so he has to make the next step."
General Information Friday 31 January 2014 Hyundai A-League Round 17 Melbourne Heart FC vs. Sydney FC AAMI Park, Melbourne Kick-Off: 7.30pm