Van't Schip downplays Heart's first win
John van 't Schip says it would have been inappropriate for Heart to wildly celebrate their drought-breaking victory after beating the Newcastle Jets 3-1 on Friday.
John van 't Schip says it would have been inappropriate for Melbourne Heart's players and staff to wildly celebrate their drought-breaking victory after beating the Newcastle Jets 3-1 on Friday.
A goal from Iain Ramsay and Mate Dugandzic's brace meant Heart avoided becoming the first team in A-League history to go 20 consecutive matches without a win.
And while the modest crowd at AAMI Park cheered long and loud upon the final whistle, there were only muted handshakes and some hugs among the coaching staff and players, with relief the dominant emotion.
"Going around jumping and cheering would be a bit strange," van 't Schip said.
"It's good that we had a first win and the way we did it was important. Second half we even had chances to make it an even bigger result. Now we have to look forward.
"We're getting two young players back (from Australia Under-22 duty) ... I'm pleased that (Orlando) Engelaar is back, (Jonatan) Germano is going to be back," he said, referring to the long-term injury victims.
"So the squad is getting more competitive. Harry (Kewell) looked very sharp today and strong. All (in) all it was a very positive game."
Dutch veteran Engelaar came off the bench in the second half to make his Heart debut, six months after breaking his leg in his first pre-season friendly appearance for the club, and Van 't Schip is looking forward to watching his compatriot integrate with his team-mates.
"We know that he's coming from far and it's not easy when you have to step in like this," he said.
"He's a player you just have to play the ball to and he will start getting in each game. The players have to get used to him as well. They have to get used to each other.
"But that's another positive point. We know from here on (in) we can build on that as well."
Van 't Schip was cautious when asked if the win can kick-start an unlikely push for a finals berth, preferring to focus on short-term targets.
"Realistic is a very hard word, because we know how far we are behind," he said.
"I'm talking about improving the team and the way they play. If you do that, then the results normally come as well. And if the results will be good enough to reach into the finals? We can't say. It's not my first goal. We have to see how far we can come."