Tiredness hurts Heart

Melbourne Heart coach John van ‘t Schip has put his team’s 2-1 defeat to competition leaders the Brisbane Roar on Sunday down to fatigue.

Melbourne Heart coach John van ‘t Schip has put his team’s 2-1 defeat to competition leaders the Brisbane Roar on Sunday down to fatigue.

The hosts dominated the first half and deservedly led 1-0 at the break thanks to Gerald Sibon’s third goal of the season but having only returned from Townsville on Thursday after beating the Fury on Wednesday night, the momentum swung sharply in the second half.

With that game against North Queensland coming a week after they had played two games in three days, firstly in Port Macquarie against the Jets and then against the Glory in Perth, the Heart were overrun as Kosta Barbarouses and then Jean Carlos Solorzano both scored.

And van ‘t Schip was in little doubt afterwards that the recent travelling, combined with the up-tempo game style that he has employed, took its toll after his players couldn’t score a second despite dominating, with Rutger Worm heading against the post.

“I think we were the better side but that was not enough because the first half we had the most chances and we didn’t make the second goal that maybe we needed because coming from three away games I think the fatigue in the team of course was there,” van ‘t Schip said.

“And going into the second half with the 1-0 lead we didn’t start that fresh anymore and Brisbane started to play their game, we couldn’t press them any more quite high up the pitch … and we started to drop deeper into our own half with every minute, we got further in the second half.”

“And that was the difficult thing, we couldn’t come into our game anymore and they got clearly the better chances even though we still had a few opportunities.”

“I think the legs didn’t go anymore.”

“The game we play costs a lot of energy and it’s important that when we have the ball that we can keep it for longer moments … so there was really good football (but) it’s a pity that you don’t make the second goal and that the difference between the first and the second half was quite big but I think that had a lot to do with the fatigue.”

Matt Thompson agreed that while Brisbane were impressive after half-time his team’s lack of polish with the ball had played a big part in the turnaround in momentum.

“The last three or four games we’ve been travelling a bit … like John said the game we play definitely requires a lot of energy but you make it harder on yourself when you give the ball away cheaply and we did that early in the second half and that got Brisbane on top and that’s why we’ve lost today,” Thompson said.

“Obviously they’re a very quick side … but we shot ourselves in the foot today and made them look better than what they are but they’re on top and they’re definitely playing some good stuff and it’s disappointing that we couldn’t finish it off tonight.”

With three more games to come in the next 13 days, starting on Friday against Adelaide United at AAMI Park before continuing with a trip to Wellington on November 24 and then back at home against Sydney FC on November 27, van ‘t Schip will be going easy on his players in coming days.

“Yeah we’ll have to (take it easy), we’ll take rest and a very light training, treatment and that’s the area we’re in now … so it’s very short altogether and that’s what we have to deal with,” van ‘t Schip added.