Bridges compared to Bergkamp

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip has singled out Newcastle captain Michael Bridges as the Jets' danger man in Friday's clash at EnergyAustralia Stadium, comparing him to former Ajax and Arsenal star Dennis Bergkamp.

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip has singled out Newcastle captain Michael Bridges as the Jets' danger man in Friday's clash at EnergyAustralia Stadium, comparing him to former Ajax and Arsenal star Dennis Bergkamp.

Van 't Schip knows Bergkamp well from his days with the Dutch giants and sees many similarities between the way that the Dutchman and Bridges play the game.

"With Bridges they have a very intelligent player, I think, playing up front and dropping in," he said. "He's very good in seeing the moment. His touch on the ball is good. You can see that he thinks ahead of situations."

"I played a lot of my career with Dennis Bergkamp and Dennis was a player like that also. He could play, and when there was the cross or the moment, he would be there."

"I don't know Michael Bridges that well, but what I've seen from him, he's a very good player."

Jets coach Branko Culina has made no bones about the fact he sees Bridges as a crucial player for his side and van 't Schip knows he will be the man to watch in Friday's match.

"We have to be mindful of that. With crosses from the side he always comes from behind. He's very dangerous," he said. "From the side they have (Ali) Abbas and (Marko) Jesic, very interesting players. I think as a team, they have made a good start."

While it is only Heart's second Hyundai A-League game, goalkeeper Clint Bolton, who played under Culina at Sydney, says the pre-season game they played four weeks ago should prove as some assistance for his team as they look to open their account.

"What you get from a Branko-led team is a team that plays attacking football. That's what Newcastle do," Bolton said. "They've got good players, good individual players all over the park. We have got to be very vigilant for 90 minutes."

"We lulled them into a false sense of security in the pre-season when we let them win, so we'll pounce on them," he joked.

Van 't Schip is unlikely to make any major changes heading into the game after all of his players got through the opening loss against the Mariners last week.

He admitted Josip Skoko and Simon Colosimo still had to reach full fitness but that things were progressing well. John Aloisi hasn't been named in the squad as he recovers from a hamstring injury but the coach said he is fine to partake in full training sessions.

That means that only Kristian Sarkies, who had the screws taken out of his broken leg this week, is currently off the training track.

"The physical part is important for us," van 't Schip said. "We had a few players coming back from injuries."

"All those players are coming into game fitness now and I think that will be the big plus in the next few weeks."