New Melbourne Heart boss encourages freedom

New Melbourne Heart coach John van ‘t Schip wants to bring a sense of freedom back to his A-League club’s playing style.

He says the pressure of losing has weighed heavily on his players’ shoulders.

“I believe in this team, otherwise I would not take the job,” van ‘t Schip told reporters on Friday.

“They are at the bottom of the ladder but that doesn’t say that’s the quality of the team.

“It’s now important to get some results, to win games.

“But most importantly to start playing more free football.

“The mindset has to change in enjoying being on the pitch and expressing yourself as an individual and as a team.

“That’s something that maybe in the last few months because of the results, because of the pressure, it got into the players and they didn’t perform as they can.”

Van ‘t Schip says every player gets a new start.

“But I’m not here just to change the whole team because of changing,” he said.

The former Dutch national team assistant coach guided the Heart to their only finals appearance – a loss to Perth Glory – in 2012 before taking a job with leading Mexican club Chivas.

This season he’s been a part-time technical manager with the Heart, but last week’s sacking of coach John Aloisi has led to the former Dutch international’s return as head coach.

“Being on the pitch today and coming out, even though I’m a little bit exhausted from the trip – being only just back from Australia last week and coming back again – but it gives energy,” he said.

“It’s never nice to come in in a situation like this.

“Being here almost a week ago and looking at some games and being close to John Aloisi.

“But we all know how football works.”

Van ‘t Schip says it’s an offer he couldn’t refuse.

“When the club asked me to help them out after I was back in Europe, I had a talk with my wife and decided to do it and to help the club because it’s a club I’m very close to, a club I helped build up a few years ago,” he said.

As technical director he had told Aloisi he would stay out of his way in a tactical sense.

“I said from the beginning I will let you guys do your job freely and I’m here for advice,” he said.

“Of course there are things maybe I would do differently.”

Central Coast host the Heart on Sunday.

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