Future bright for Heart

The Heart may not have taken all three points from Saturday night's Melbourne derby against the Victory at Etihad Stadium but coach John van 't Schip saw enough in the performance to be convinced 'there's a lot of future in the team'.

The Heart may not have taken all three points from Saturday night's Melbourne derby against the Victory at Etihad Stadium but coach John van 't Schip saw enough in the performance to be convinced 'there's a lot of future in the team'.

Van 't Schip's men had opened the campaign with a 3-2 loss in Newcastle and then a 2-1 defeat at home to Perth Glory last week, increasing the pressure on the Dutchman and his men.

But they turned in their best performance of the new season in front of 39,309 fans at Docklands and even though the game finished 0-0, van 't Schip took plenty of positives from the effort.

"We talked about it (how poor we'd been) and you know that we can do a lot better and that's what we said this week, just go out there and play and play to your abilities as a team because that's the most important thing," van 't Schip said.

"And then as an individual you can grow and I think that happened today, we were a team and some individuals played maybe above or better than they maybe did the last few weeks."

"And the other players in the team just got their level and then you can see that there's a lot of future in the team."

Van 't Schip was also pleased to welcome back goalkeeper Clint Bolton and veteran defender Simon Colosimo for their first games of the season, which in turn allowed him to push stand-in skipper Matt Thompson into the midfield.

And with both Wayne Srhoj and Alex Terra starting to find their groove after like Bolton and Colosimo battling injury in the lead-up to the season, van 't Schip likes where things are heading.

Thompson, who experienced the joy of welcoming his first child into the world earlier this week, had mixed feelings after the game knowing it was a win that got away but looking positively just the same at what he believes lies ahead.

"I think at the start walking back into the change room a lot of the boys were happy with the performance, just because of the way we've started the last couple of games," Thompson said.

"But like John (van 't Schip) said to have a lot of possession and have a few chances, especially in the first half and late in the game, I guess we could look back on it now and think it would've been nice to get those three points."

"But it's a good base, it is only early on in the season, and I think we can take a lot of out from tonight."

"And like John said a few of the players today, or most players today, there wasn't a bad player on the pitch in our squad which is a great thing going into only Round 4 next week and a home game (against Sydney) and we can start from there."

The other pleasing aspect of the game for van 't Schip was the performance of youngster Mate Dugandzic, who played his first game against his former club on the night of his 22nd birthday.

On another night Dugandzic would almost certainly have scored at least two goals, having been denied three times by Victory keeper Ante Covic.

"He was dangerous and he created a lot of good play from his side, together with Michael Marrone, and he got good service from the midfield when we could open up and he was wide or he came in and then Michael came, that worked well," van 't Schip said.

"I think he showed that he had his nerves under control and he played a very good game."