No guarantees for Colosimo

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip has refused to guarantee a return to the starting line-up for Simon Colosimo after the captain was sensationally left out of Saturday's 0-0 draw with Gold Coast United at AAMI Park.

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip has refused to guarantee a return to the starting line-up for Simon Colosimo after the captain was sensationally left out of Saturday's 0-0 draw with Gold Coast United at AAMI Park.

Colosimo, who was awarded the Joe Marston Medal for the best player in last season's Grand Final when playing for Sydney FC, came on as a late substitute as Heart squandered a mountain of possession and opportunity to emerge with just a point.

Van 't Schip said he felt the tactical needs of the team were better met by having Matt Thompson fill a centre back role, as he did against Victory a fortnight ago, and that he would persist with ignoring reputations when selecting his starting XI.

"It was my tactical choice. I was very pleased with what I saw against the Victory from the back out. That's why I wanted to see that again today. The change of that sees Matt go to the back and Nick Kalmar comes in," he said.

"We could have played with Simon, but we played well against Victory and the build-up from behind is different. Simon knows, I talked with him this week and hopefully he will come back. He's professional and he's a good player."

"Sometimes you have to make some choices and I'm free in that. I don't look at past. It's what I see this season."

Colosimo was recruited to the club not just for his defensive abilities, but also as a leader who could help the new team gel and reach their potential as quickly as possible. Van 't Schip said leaving a captain out of the starting XI was not a decision he took lightly.

"I understand that, it sure is a hard choice. It's something I know. I've been a captain myself. For me it doesn't mean anything if the team is always in front of the individual and if I think that the team needs a different type of impulse. Then I have to make a choice. Sometimes it's not a nice choice, but that's what I'm here for," he said.

But the Dutchman refused to speculate on whether the fact Colosimo could no longer command a spot in the first XI would affect his captaincy of the club.

"It's too early to talk about that. We have to take it day by day and I was happy with the younger players. We will have other problems in this season," he said.

"I don't think we should run too far ahead talking about things. Simon is a player I highly rate and we need all the players this season. We'll just have a look how things go."

Having seen his inexperienced side, minus experienced hands Gerald Sibon, Alex Terra, John Aloisi and Dean Heffernan as well as Colosimo, acquit themselves so well against a side which has been beaten just once this season, van 't Schip feels his approach to personnel management, evidence by the Colosimo decision, can be justified.

"At a certain moment you look to change things. Sometimes you have to do it because you are forced to do it, and sometimes you are forced to do it because you think you need to do it," he said.

"That's what I'm here for. Sometimes it won't work, sometimes it will work. That's the thing you shouldn-t be afraid of. You have to feel free as a coach to make those kinds of decisions. Because if you don't feel free it means that other people are going to decide for you who is going to play."

Van 't Schip is confident that Heffernan, who was a late withdrawal with a hamstring injury, will be fit to take on Newcastle next Sunday along with Sibon, who has completed his two-match suspension. Terra will have to prove he is over a calf injury, while Aloisi is expected to miss at least the next two matches.