thumbnail Hello,

The coach has sought to redirect the credit his compatriot is receiving after the veteran's return to action coincided with the team's dramatic upturn in form

John van 't Schip has rejected suggestions Orlando Engelaar is largely responsible for Melbourne Heart's mid-season transformation.

The international marquee sat out the first half of the 2013-14 A-League campaign with a broken leg suffered in pre-season, watching from the sidelines as Heart failed to win during the first 14 rounds.

His long-awaited debut coincided with a drought-breaking 3-1 triumph at home to the Newcastle Jets and since then the team are unbeaten in five games, including successive victories in their last three matches.

Engelaar opened the scoring in a 5-0 rout of Wellington Phoenix last Sunday, but his coach is not buying into suggestions the fit-again towering midfielder is Heart's secret weapon.

"I don't agree," he said.

"We played 35 minutes with Orlando (against) Newcastle, we were already leading. Adelaide away, in my opinion, he didn't play a good game. We were leading 2-1 (and lost).

"The game against Sydney he only played 35 minutes. So let's take everything a little bit out of making a player bigger than he is. He's already quite big," he joked, referring to his countryman's 1.96 metre frame.

"I know Orlando is a very good player, can play very good. Sunday was his first performance we can really say he helped the team a lot. And he knows it himself. He has still a lot to show to the people in Australia and to our team. He's getting fitter and game-fit every week. Hopefully we can see more his qualities in the coming period."

On Sunday Heart host Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park, where the league leaders will be seeking to bounce back from their surprise 1-0 defeat at home to the Newcastle Jets last time out.

"We have to approach the game against Brisbane very concentrated because they have the best playing team in the league and they can really make it difficult for any opponent when they have the ball," Van 't Schip said.

"So we have to ... keep the momentum going, continue our game improving."

"You're not going to stop them because they have their way of playing. You have to try to make it difficult for them. They will have their moments, for sure. Because it's a team that can outplay almost every opponent in the league. We have to make sure we're prepared."

Dutch centre-back Robbie Wielaert is suspended for the Roar game, meaning Patrick Gerhardt is likely to drop back into defence, with Jonatan Germano returning to midfield. Youngster David Vrankovic is Van 't Schip's other likely defensive solution.

Related

From the web