Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John van ‘t Schip has expressed his relief at his side returning to the winners list following a 1-0 triumph over Gold Coast United at Skilled Park yesterday.
The Red and White produced an intrepid display to dispose of a dogged Gold Coast outfit, which overcame a midweek crisis to push Heart for the entire 90 minutes.
With the result propelling Heart back into the race for a home final, van ‘t Schip admitted the nature of the display was secondary to the potential consequences of not snapping the side’s barren run through January.
“The performance I think was not that bad at all, seeing the tension that was on this game that we had to deal with, knowing that everybody expected us to win with Gold Coast having a few younger players in the team. It always looks easier from the outside,” he said.
“The three points everybody knows is the most important thing, in this last few games it's about collecting points, coming from that eight games not winning.”
Anointed as a ‘must-win’ match during the week by Assistant Coach Ante Milicic, van ‘t Schip echoed his second in-charge’s sentiments, emphasising the criticality of the result.
Having entered the New Year well and truly in the minor premiership race, a run of eight games without victory temporarily put pay to Heart’s ambitions, with the side stumbling down the table.
Although Heart’s win now places it in pole position to claim sixth place at the very least, van ‘t Schip said the team entered yesterday’s match under no illusions as to its significance.
“This is the game we knew we had to win because all the opponents are passing us or are near (on the table). (If we did not win) we knew it would be very difficult. We are close but not there yet, everything is still possible.”