Heart pumped up for finals

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip is full of confidence heading into next week's Hyundai A-League finals despite his side failing to break down Adelaide United on Friday night at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip is full of confidence heading into next week's Hyundai A-League finals despite his side failing to break down Adelaide United on Friday night at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Melbourne dominated possession against a reluctant and reserved Adelaide but could not find a way through the home side's defence, let alone threaten their goal.

The inability to wear down the Reds resulted in the hosts taking a shock lead shortly before half-time when Sergio van Dijk converted a penalty after teammate Daniel Mullen was pulled down inside the box by Heart veteran Simon Colosimo.

Melbourne looked a different team in the second half and eventually found an equaliser in the 68th minute when in-form hitman Eli Babalj scored a dazzling solo effort.

However Adelaide remained stubborn as the Heart had to settle for their fourth consecutive draw.

The result also left the Heart at risk of slipping into sixth if Newcastle or Sydney can claim all three points in their decisive clash for the last finals spot on Sunday.

Despite enduring yet another stalemate on the eve of the finals, van 't Schip felt the Heart were well prepared for their first taste of finals action.

"As a unit we are getting stronger and stronger with each week and I'm certainly confident about our chances in the playoffs," van 't Schip said.

"I was not happy with the way we played in the first half ... but the second half was a lot better.

"We we more concentrated, aggressive and I think we deserved a point for sure although we probably did deserve more than that."

"But in the end if you don't put in goals from the amount of possession you have, then you always run the risk of the opposition getting a chance or break to score and make it difficult, which is what happened.

"We missed that last 10 per cent, what we really needed to take the lead and go and get a win."

"Overall though the most important thing is that we have gotten into the finals officially with no injuries and now must move forward to prepare ourselves for the next game against Perth or Wellington."

Heart midfield maestro Fred, who is no stranger to competing in Hyundai A-League finals having played an instrumental role in rivals Melbourne Victory's 2007 Grand Final triumph, was looking forward to playing in the business end of the season once more.

The 32-year-old Brazilian said the belief and assurance amongst the squad to push far into the finals was already pulsating regardless of who the Heart face next week between Perth and Wellington.

"I think the whole group feels very confident going into the finals and whoever we play (next week) we have to try our best to win the game," Fred said.

"We have worked hard for the whole season and now we have to be focused and ready.

"It's going to be difficult because everyone wants to win, but I think we have prepared ourselves to try and reach the Grand Final."