Relief for Heart boss

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip was a relieved man after his team held out to beat Wellington Phoenix 1-0 on Sunday.

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip was a relieved man after his team held out to beat Wellington Phoenix 1-0 on Sunday.

Heart led courtesy of Mate Dugandzic's goal four minutes before the break at LaTrobe City Stadium.

While Heart enjoyed spells on possession throughout the contest in Morwell, they were under siege late in the second half.

Substitutes Daniel Sanchez and Mirjan Pavlovic led the rally for the visitors, and it took some desperate defending - together with the heroics of goalkeeper Clint Bolton - to prevent Wellington from forcing an equaliser in the final moments.

Speaking afterwards, Dutchman Van 't Schip said Heart were fortunate to get away with all three points.

"Of course (we are relieved) because we escaped a few difficulties and they were pushing us at times," he said.

"Before that I think we should have finished it earlier. Especially the first chance of Matt (Thompson)."

Van 't Schip was referring to Matt Thompson's one-on-one with Phoenix goalkeeper Tony Warner two minutes into the second half, a shot that came within inches of doubling Heart's advantage.

"If it becomes 2-0, then of course it is a different kind of match," Van 't Schip said.

"That (the miss) gave them hope of course to come back into the game. A few times we escaped, with the ball on the post and Clint (Bolton) being there on the right spot."

"And on the break, they were lucky as well I think. We had the biggest one-on-ones, with Jason Hoffman and with Mate."

"At the end of course, (we were) relieved with the three points."

Van 't Schip believes Heart have what it takes to produce more commanding displays, and is looking for his players to dictate terms rather than let themselves get pinned down late in matches.

"It wasn't our best performance and we know (that)," he said,

"We want to keep the ball for longer, play with more possession. That's something that we're talking about working on a lot."

"And that's something that we have to improve on because the games are going too up and down. We have to have the ball more, control the possession more."

"We know that we have quick players up front who can decide a game in a split second. But we also want to play more controlled from the back, on the midfield."

"That's something that didn't work out so good, but I think in the discipline we did well - we worked well defensively, and I think at the end the three points were very important."

Heart's third win this season lifts them above cross-city rivals Melbourne Victory and into the top six on the A-League standings.