Long road ahead for Heart

With a grueling month on the road coming up, Melbourne Heart boss John van 't Schip has underlined the importance of Friday night's 2-1 win over Gold Coast United at Skilled Park.

With a grueling month on the road coming up, Melbourne Heart boss John van 't Schip has underlined the importance of Friday night's 2-1 win over Gold Coast United at Skilled Park.

The gritty victory was the Heart's second in a row but any celebrations from the players will be muted as soon as they take a glance at their travel schedule for the next four weeks.

van 't Schip's men face an always-tricky away game at Central Coast next weekend, before taking on Wellington Phoenix in Morwell for the club's regional round game.

And it doesn't get any easier - following that is a daunting trip to champions Brisbane before going across the Nullarbor to take on Perth Glory.

Then when they finally return to their AAMI Park base, none other than crosstown rivals Melbourne Victory will be there waiting for them.

Already without Olyroos trio Aziz Behich, Jason Hoffman and Mate Dugandzic for another week and Brazilian livewire Alex Terra for the next three, the Heart's depth was tested against Gold Coast - and came up roses.

Dutch winger Rutger Worm made a successful return to the first XI, while van 't Schip was impressed with short-term signing Adrian Madaschi's first start and Curtis Good's game in an unfamiliar role at left-back.

"Our program is not easy. We have a lot of travel to do. It's going to be a tough month and that's why this win was so important," the Heart coach said.

But it was the manner of the win - and the Heart's ability to bounce straight back into the game after conceding a second-half equalizer - that pleased him the most.

"There's still a lot of work to be done - we can do a lot better," he said. "But we've played better games than this evening and didn't get the points we thought we deserved."

"In the first few games that we played, we lost our points in the final minutes of the game and today we did a lot better (in that respect)."

For so long, the Heart have played good football but have done so with an unfortunate inability to find results.

When United midfielder Peter Jungschlager's 63rd minute free kick rocketed into the net, it looked like it was going to be another one of those nights for the Red and Whites.

But five minutes later, the Heart showed good character to hit straight back through Jonatan Germano, who latched onto a delightful chip from Matt Thompson to loft the ball past Glen Moss to assure victory.

"We made plenty of chances early but we didn't really finish them. Then Gold Coast slowly came into the game and made it difficult for us - especially after half time," van 't Schip said.

"At that moment, (the game) could have gone either way. Gold Coast were getting more of the game - they were dangerous and really coming close every time."

"But it was a good moment mentally for us, to immediately make a goal. We were the lucky ones today."