Heart will not bolster squad, says van't Schip
John van't Schip will resist the temptation to bolster his squad during the January transfer window as the Melbourne Heart stare down an unwanted A-League record.
John van't Schip will resist the temptation to bolster his besieged squad during the January transfer window as the Melbourne Heart stare down an unwanted A-League record.
Heart's 3-0 loss to Perth Glory at nib Stadium on Friday night equalled the record set by the now-defunct New Zealand Knights for 19 consecutive matches without a win.
Van't Schip's side created plenty of chances against Perth, though their lack of scoring power was again evident.
Heart have found the back of the net just nine times in 14 games this season, with under-fire pair Michael Mifsud and Harry Kewell scoring just once between them.
But van't Schip, who replaced the sacked John Aloisi as coach only a fortnight ago, will persist with the players at his disposal despite struggling up front.
"We're not looking at reinforcements because we have no space," he said.
"If players leave, then OK we can maybe do something but if that's not the case then we know we are working with the team we have now.
"I didn't ask for any reinforcements. We have two 'reinforcements' coming back from injury in Orlando Engelaar (broken leg) and Jonatan Germano (hamstring) so hopefully they can fit in the team very quickly and help us get stronger."
Heart must beat the Newcastle Jets on Friday night to avoid claiming the longest winless streak in A-League history, but it is not something van't Schip will discuss with his side.
Van't Schip went as far as to say he had seen improvement from Heart since reclaiming the coaching reins, even though his team conceded three sloppy goals against the Glory.
"I'm not thinking about that at all because the main thing is we have to improve and start playing the way that I think we should play," he said.
"I've seen in two games a lot of improvement, taking away of course the 3-0 (result) because it is not good.
"If you look only at the result, you think we got smashed and I don't think that's what everyone saw.
"We played a good game. We were in the game until the 85th minute with 10 men. We could have equalised, but after that we collapsed in the last five minutes.
"The record … that's something that everybody is talking about, but we just have to make sure we improve in the way that we play.
"(The players) should focus on that and only that because the other things you can't control. You can only control the things you do on the pitch."
Van't Schip expects Kewell to be fit to face the Jets despite being substituted after 70 minutes due to fatigue and knocks on his shin and calf.