Van 't Schip rues 'selfish' Heart

Selfishness and an inability to land the killer blow cost Melbourne Heart as they conceded a late equaliser to third-placed Wellington Phoenix, according to manager John van 't Schip.

Selfishness and an inability to land the killer blow cost Melbourne Heart as they conceded a late equaliser to third-placed Wellington Phoenix, according to manager John van 't Schip.

A win for the Heart would have all-but assured a finals berth but their failure to find a second decisive goal came back to haunt them again.

"I think we should have scored more in normal play, we were too selfish or the last pass was not good enough, I think we lost ourselves two points today," van 't Schip said.

"We had a lot of opportunities, we created a lot of play, we could have scored more but the only goal we made was actually from a set piece."

The Heart put on a scintillating first-half display at AAMI Park on Saturday night and took a deserved lead through Eli Babalj, but the second half was a different tale as Paul Ifill's long-range strike pinched a point for the visiting Phoenix.

"We didn't start that well, they had a little bit more of the play. Towards the last part of the game we created the most opportunities again and were the most dangerous team but our last pass, our decision making."

The result could prove telling with frustration at the dropped points exacerbated by seventh-placed Sydney FC's 1-0 win at home to Melbourne Victory that moved them within a point of the last finals berth.

An agitated van 't Schip turned his attention to next week's blockbuster with Sydney, a fixture that will now have a huge bearing on the final make-up of the top six.

"We were too selfish, that was just not enough, we all know that, it's costing us the two points we needed to be more sure of going into the playoffs. We still have it in our own hands but we must win next week."

If Melbourne claim the three points against Sydney there is a distinct possibility van 't Schip's side will meet the Phoenix in a third versus sixth elimination final, a potential match-up the Dutchman does not fear.

"Of course it's a difference playing up there (in Wellington) than playing here."

"But we're heading into a period where we're feeling really strong. The players are really fit, they're physically strong, mentally strong."

"We don't have to be afraid of any team because I think with the players we have we can match up against every team in a good way."

"But I'm not thinking about who we're going to play in the play-offs we have to focus on getting into the playoffs starting with the next game against Sydney."