Fred hole in Heart hard to fill

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip says there is no easy solution to filling the void left by the injury to playmaker Fred after the Heart slumped to a 2-1 home loss to Perth on Sunday.

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip says there is no easy solution to filling the void left by the injury to playmaker Fred after the Heart slumped to a 2-1 home loss to Perth on Sunday.

It was clear that Heart missed their Brazilian talisman greatly on Sunday, as they were largely bossed in the midfield and couldn't find a way to regularly undo Perth's defence.

Their goal came via a rebound from a penalty, while Perth keeper Danny Vukovic only had a couple of saves to make.

While van 't Schip does not believe that his side can not win without Fred, he admitted that both Jason Hoffman and Jonatan Germano struggled to have the same impact.

"That's something that if we keep on talking about that than it becomes a big problem," he said when asked if it was 'no Fred, no Heart'. He is an important player but it is not that if he doesn't play, we can't win.

"I'm not going to compare ay player with Fred. Because you can't compare a player with each other. They have all their own qualities. If Germano plays in that position, I expect him to play his way. If Jason plays his position, I expect him to play his game."

Van 't Schip all but ruled out the club recruiting a direct replacement for Fred, who is expected to miss at least six weeks.

"We're always going to look, but you are not going to get someone from abroad in that quickly because it takes three weeks to get a visa and everything sorted," he said.

"We have to do it with the players we have now and I'm happy with the players that we have, players who get an opportunity, players who are showing their ability.

"Getting in another player is not going to resolve the problem immediately because what sort of player do you get in? You are not going to get a big signing player, at this moment. They are all under contract.

"If they are not under contract, they are not fit enough. It's something we have to look around in the league and you don't find those kind of players that easily. We will have to find a solution within the squad at the moment."

Heart, who are winless in three games, face Central Coast on Wednesday, with van 't Schip saying he wasn't sure if he would make any changes despite the quick turnaround.