Heart confident of A-League finals tilt

By Steve Larkin,

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    Melbourne Heart enter their inaugural A-League finals campaign confident they have the game breakers to make an impact, coach John Van ‘t Schip says.

    The Heart drew 1-1 against Adelaide United on Friday night and will take a six-game unbeaten streak into the finals.

    Heart’s initial finals game be an away fixture against either Perth Glory or Wellington Phoenix, with Sunday’s result between Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets to determine their destination.

    “We have a lot of confidence,” Van ‘t Schip said.

    “We have a strong team.

    “If we do the things we know we have to do, if we play as a team, then I think we have a lot of players that can decide a game.

    “And as a unit we’re getting stronger and stronger so I’m certainly confident about our chances in the play-offs.”

    While gun striker Eli Babalj, who scored the equaliser in Adelaide, is the Heart’s attacking linchpin, Van ‘t Schip said he wasn’t the key to the club’s finals fortunes.

    “He’s doing very good work for us,” he said.

    “But he should just do what he has to do.

    “Of course a striker wants to score but if makes his runs and creates space for other players to come into his position, then he’s doing a good job as well.

    “And that is what we have to improve even more – Eli coming out of the striker position, then we have space for others to and make the runs.

    “We’re doing that, but the variation we have, we can improve that.”

    Heart captain Fred, who has played A-League finals with Melbourne Victory, was rapt his new club had advanced to the business end of the season.

    “Not only me, the whole group feel very confident,” Fred said.

    “We have worked hard for the whole season and now we have to focus and get ready for when it gets difficult because everyone wants to win.”

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