Streak? What streak?

Melbourne Heart will confront the longest streak in the Hyundai A-League’s history by ignoring it.

Melbourne Heart will confront the longest streak in the Hyundai A-League’s history by ignoring it.

That’s the attitude that coach John van ‘t Schip will take into Sunday’s clash with Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium, where the home side hasn’t lost since October 2008.

It must be an intimidating prospect for a team who are just two and a bit months in existence and are coming off the greatest result in that time, a 2-1 derby win over Victory last week.

It’s not that van ‘t Schip isn-t aware of Wellington’s powerful record in the Windy City, he just believes that if you give players an excuse not to win, they will find a way to do just that.

“There are a lot of circumstances with away games. The travel, the climate, and I think that’s the big difference going to Wellington as going to other places. For me it-s new as well, I’ve never been there,” he said.

“The biggest opponent if not only Wellington, it will be the circumstances that we have to deal with. They know them better than I do. We have to make sure that we don-t take that with us into the game.”

“We know it, it-s there and we have to deal with it. We can-t find excuses. If yo0u go there and think they are 23 games unbeaten, you don-t have any chance. It’s something we should not have in our mind.”

Wellington’s powerful home record stands in stark contrast to their performances on the road, especially this season where they have managed just one point from five away games. Van ‘t Schip believes that gives an insight into the mentality of the Phoenix team.

“Statistics tell you something about a side. If you are unbeaten for that time that will tell you that they are feeling very strong and they are playing different at home than away, it-s up to us to not get too caught up with that,” he said.

Also giving the coach a strong idea of what to expect is the fact that these two teams met just a few weeks ago, where Heart won 2-1 at AAMI Park.

Van ‘t Schip was pleased with that result but knows it-s a different case on the road, where Heart also have just one point this season. He wants improved away efforts if Heart are going to move up the table.

“I think we played the second half very well. In the first half they showed that they are capable of doing good things and they have a very solid team. The difference between them away and home is also big,” he said.

“We have the same problem until now. We were playing quite reasonably at home and but away we still have to get a good result. We’ve had draw but that’s it. You need a better effort than that if you are going to end up higher on the table.”