Van 't Schip: Behich no certainty

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip has revealed that young gun Aziz Behich was no certainty to line up against Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Saturday despite being available following his second yellow card for the Olyroos.

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip has revealed that young gun Aziz Behich was no certainty to line up against Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on Saturday despite being available following his second yellow card for the Olyroos.

Behich has been suspended from the Qantas Australian Under 23s encounter with Uzbekistan on Sunday after he picked up his second caution of the qualifying campaign against Iraq in Doha.

The 20-year-old will be included in the Heart squad this weekend but may battle to feature in the match which takes place only a few days after he flew in from the Middle East and played in the Oylmpic qualifier with the Iraqis.

"He (Behich) comes back, but if he comes back into the team, we will see," van 't Schip said before Heart training at La Trobe University on Thursday.

"He will catch up with us tomorrow, we are leaving to Sydney, he's just landed, so he's going to stay there and he will travel with us from Sydney to the Central Coast."

"(We) just have to see how he feels."

But the Heart will definitely be without Mate Dugandzic (Olyroos duty) and Alex Terra (hamstring) while Simon Colosimo might also struggle to be available after he injured himself at training on Tuesday.

"It's just a little niggle, we will make a decision tomorrow if he's ok to travel up with us," van 't Schip said.

The Heart coach wasn't sure if Eli Babalj would start against the Mariners either but insisted the injury-prone forward was progressing well after impressive substitute appearances in the past two matches.

"He's getting stronger and stronger and we're managing him to hopefully start training from December on and maybe a little bit more and that means that he also gets stronger and maybe can start playing also longer," van 't Schip said.

"He could play (50) minutes, but then again it's a decision that you have to make if you're going to start him or bring him in."

"And if you don't start him then always you look at how the game develops and evolves and sometimes you will need him after 30 minutes and sometimes you will just maybe only need him for the last 30 minutes."

Van 't Schip also intimated that vice-captain Matt Thompson may play in the midfield for the rest of the season after spending time in defence in the first seven matches.

The emergence of Brendan Hamill, Curtis Good and Adrian Madaschi down back meant Thompson could now return to his preferred position, according to van 't Schip.

"With Curtis and Brendan really knocking on the door now and proving that they play on a high level in the A-League, it gives also the opportunity for me to move Matt back to the midfield more often and maybe he's going to play there the rest of the season," he said.

"But still we know that Matt will be necessary in the back as well if we have problems but I'm very happy with the development of both young players and also with having Adrian Madaschi in the squad, it's an extra centre-back."