MENTAL toughness as much as physical strength will be the key to surviving tomorrow’s scorcher, according to Melbourne Heart coach John van’t Schip.
He said 42 degrees wasn’t ideal soccer weather for players or fans.
But van’t Schip said both Heart and Perth Glory would face the same conditions at Lavington.
“Everyone knows it’s not perfect to play in that temperature,” he said.
“Clearly you can’t play at a high pace, there will be moments when you drop in behind the ball, be careful when you press in those temperatures.
“But it is still a game and it will be open and there will be spaces and you will need to take those opportunities.
“It is also a mental thing — you are not only playing an opponent but also the circumstances.”
Van’t Schip said there was renewed confidence in his squad.
“The group is good and the confidence is there,” he said.
“The boys are physically well and playing good football and with good results in recent weeks their confidence is growing.”
But he downplayed the lack of activity in the January transfer window.
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While fans of the beleaguered club hoped their new super-rich owners might have brought in a big name to whet the appetite for 2014-15, they were disappointed.
Heart was the only team not to add to its playing list during a busy transfer window, but van’t Schip wasn’t concerned.
“We’re confident with the players we have and we want to finish with this group, we want to finish this season,” he said.
“The club went through a takeover and it’s not the time to shake up the squad.
“To do it now on a short term and have to turn it around in a few months, we decided to keep it how it was.”
Van’t Schip said the new owners had laid out the transfer guidelines for Heart, which did not include short-term prospects for this season — already lost with the Heart eight points adrift at the foot of the table.
“It was a decision that the new owners took but actually we took it all together,” he said.
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