Heart go for the jugular

Melbourne Heart will take no prisoners against Adelaide United as coach John van 't Schip fields his strongest side, despite the Friday night encounter being a virtual dead rubber.

Melbourne Heart will take no prisoners against Adelaide United as coach John van 't Schip fields his strongest side, despite the Friday night encounter being a virtual dead rubber.

Sitting in fifth on the Hyundai A-League table, Heart are almost assured of a place in the finals, as they would need to lose by eight goals to lose their place in the event of a draw between sixth-placed Newcastle and seventh-placed Sydney FC.

Adelaide, though, could be taking things a little easier themselves, considering they have bigger fish to fry in the AFC Champions League.

But van 't Schip adamantly said he couldn't care less what sort of side Adelaide fielded, he was still going to select his strongest possible squad as he looks to keep his team on their toes heading into the finals.

"We want to get a result in Adelaide and it's important that you head into the finals with a good feeling," said van 't Schip.

"Having a good game before you go into the finals keeps the boys switched on."

With that in mind, van 't Schip said he would not consider resting any players or managing their game time in a bid to keep them fresh, despite Heart making a road trip to either Wellington or Perth in the first week of the finals.

"(If I did that) I would make the game less important," said the coach. "And the game against Adelaide is important."

"So I'm not going to make any concessions. I'm going to play with a team that I think should play."

"Maybe there could be one change or two changes but if I do that, it would be with a (tactical) reason, but not with a reason to rest players."

Van 't Schip said despite making the finals and outshining their derby rivals Victory in just their second season, he'd be making sure his team didn't rest on their laurels.

"It's all that close and we should not get far ahead of ourselves," he said.

"Victory had a season that was disappointing. They will for sure want to come back very strong next year."

"(And) we should be satisfied ... that for our second year, we've made a lot of progression."

"You can also say then, in our second year that we were the better team in Melbourne, but it's too easy to say that we are here now drinking champagne."

"(So) it's up to the Heart to now try to make more of a name (for ourselves) and you can only make more (of a) name by getting far in the playoffs."

"And, that's when you make a club big, not when you're only qualifying for the playoffs and then go out."

According to van 't Schip, at this stage, the only change to the side that drew 2-2 with Sydney last weekend would be that the more versatile Rutger Worm came into the team to replace Jason Hoffman.