JVS lauds Heart spirit

Relieved Melbourne Heart manager John van 't Schip hailed his players' determination after overseeing the club's first win of the season against the Newcastle Jets.

Relieved Melbourne Heart manager John van 't Schip hailed his players' determination after overseeing the club's first win of the season against the Newcastle Jets.

The Heart had been the hard luck story of the campaign, and in fact had only won once at home in the past 12 months, before their breakthrough 3-0 win at AAMI Park in front of 5914 loyal fans.

Goals from captain Fred, Mate Dugandzic and Aziz Behich broke the drought for Heart and ended a string of results that included draws with Adelaide and Sydney - games in which the Heart led - and a frustrating 0-0 draw with rivals Melbourne Victory following two narrow losses in their opening two games.

It did take until the 66th minute for Heart to get on the board through Fred but that seemed to ease the pressure on the home side as they went on to score twice more.

"That had been the problem in the other games that we didn't (score) the second goal and today we achieved that and we kept on playing forward, kept on creating chances and you could see that we played (freely) after that, with a lot of confidence," van 't Schip said.

"Very relieved (with the win) like the boys are and I would like also to say a thanks to the fans because the fans (have) stuck behind us all this time and we have been frustrated in games a lot of the time. It was a good win for everybody."

After a frustrating start to the season, van 't Schip said regardless of the results his players knew their time would come.

"Well that's how it goes in a season you're going to have those moment were it will be against you, and in other matches you will have decisions and moments were it will favour you," he said.

"What I tell the boys is: 'keep on working hard, keep on believing what we're doing' those moments of glory of having more luck will come to you."

One player who did have an impact after coming on in the second half was youngster Eli Babalj. The striker had been biding his time in the National Youth League after a troublesome 12 months with injuries, but he was the orchestrator of the opening goal following a beautiful piece of skill as he ghosted past three defenders.

"Knowing that when the second half comes the spaces get a bit bigger, we thought with the qualities Eli has he could maybe do something and that's what happened," van 't Schip said.

"We have to manage him very carefully. You could see he maybe lacked a little bit of sharpness but still then he is a dangerous player, a real striker, still young. So hopefully he can make his next few steps as well."

Dugandzic, who scored the Heart's second goal to relieve the pressure valve, said despite the disappointing results that have punctuated their start to the season, the belief amongst the player always remained.

"The win instils a lot of confidence. In the playing group we always have the belief that we can win games we were somewhat unfortunate in a couple of previous games to not get the win." Dugandzic said.

On Behich's superb third goal, Dugandzic said perhaps it was a sign of the Heart's change in fortunes.

"Aziz scored a fantastic goal, nine times out of ten on his right foot you wouldn't back him to put it in the top right corner, but he did."

Van 't Schip said his captain Fred was withdrawn in the second period due to cramp and that it wasn't a recurrence of the hamstring injury that saw him miss two games earlier in the season.