Heart can win title: Van 't Schip

Melbourne Heart boss John van 't Schip believes his vastly improved team can win the A-League title this season.

Melbourne Heart boss John van 't Schip believes his vastly improved team can win the A-League title this season.

The Heart have taken the competition by storm in the past two months, winning seven of their last eight matches.

The purple patch has catapulted them from bottom of the ladder to second spot and just three points off league leaders Central Coast.

"We have shown that we play against all the teams now and they were all competitive (matches) and we had all good results except against Central Coast," van 't Schip said following training in sweltering conditions at AAMI Park on Monday.

"It's not that we are not capable of playing any team here and having problems, I think we have to look at ourselves and make sure that we do our things on the pitch and then we're a team that's very difficult to beat."

But van 't Schip was under no illusions as to the amount of hard work that still faced his precocious playing group with more than half of the season still left to play and insisted there was still a lot of room for improvement.

"We have to see game by game, it's now just (about) making sure that we continue in the way that we're playing, trying to get even better with the way we play," van' t Schip said.

"There's a lot of improvement still to be made and my main goal is to improve the way of playing.

"We do these things that we did in the beginning of the year and we do the same now only that you see that there's growth in the team."

The red-hot Heart's next assignment is at AAMI Park on Wednesday against a rejuvenated Adelaide United who drew with Sydney FC and beat Wellington Phoenix in their last two matches under new coach John Kosmina.

And van 't Schip has already noticed a change in the way the Reds have been playing.

"They got two good results (against) Sydney and their last game against Wellington was confident and they played fresh and a little bit different," said van 't Schip.

"It's always good if a new trainer comes in and you start getting results because the group can immediately get a different kind of feeling."

Despite the rich vein of form the Heart find themselves in they are still a fair way off a clean bill of health with captain Fred (groin) joining the injury list, which already contained Wayne Srhoj and Jonatan Germano, during the side's 4-0 thumping of Sydney.

While Fred will sit out the clash with Adelaide, van 't Schip said the injury wasn't as serious as first thought and he's a slight chance to return against Gold Coast on Sunday.

Srhoj (quad) and Germano (hamstring) are both expected to be fit for the Heart's meeting with Perth Glory at AAMI Park on January 15.

Meanwhile, van 't Schip confirmed he had begun initial negotiations with the club over a new contract.