Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John van’t Schip said he was pleased with his side emerging from a difficult test against reigning Hyundai A-League champions Central Coast Mariners with a point - and a promising display.
Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John van-t Schip said he was pleased with his side emerging from a difficult test against reigning Hyundai A-League champions Central Coast Mariners with a point - and a promising display.
The Red and White travelled to Bluetongue Stadium in Round 13 on Sunday after a turbulent week, with van-t Schip only taking the reins for two training sessions prior to the match.
But against the Mariners, van-t Schip-s side dominated the first stanza and looked the more likely to create openings throughout the 90 minutes, with a decisive goal the only item lacking in an encouraging performance.
"I think they performed very well, in the first half I think we dominated and had some good chances with Mifsud twice close to opening the score... We controlled the game,” van-t Schip said.
"The second half we had some opportunities and some corners so overall I think the draw was a score we could live with.
"I-m more pleased with the energy, with the way of playing and that gives us a lot of hope for more improvement."
Click play on the video above to watch the full post-match press conference with John van't Schip
Van-t Schip was further encouraged by the performance of captain Harry Kewell, who was an ever-present figure in the Heart-s midfield, and the number of players returning to fitness.
"Harry Kewell today playing 90 minutes on a very good level I think was an example for the boys," van't Schip said.
"He was working hard and [was] dangerous in a few circumstances.
"Orlando Engelaar is coming back from injury and hopefully he can be involved in the team in one or two weeks so that will make us as a team stronger and we have to take it from there."
“In December I have seen some games and there are a few players who are close such as [David] Vrankovic and [Benjamin] Garuccio.
"They are two players that have been training with us for a long time and also Stefan Mauk today he got a few minutes on the pitch to show his abilities.
"We will have a close look on every player, and youth players, but they have to deserve to play.
"It's not that because I like young players that I am going to put them in."
Melbourne Heart have a quick turnaround, with a clash in Perth looming against Glory this Friday night at nib Stadium.