Melbourne Heart defender Patrick Kisnorbo won’t allow himself to be called a hero despite the last-gasp tackle which preserved his side’s winning run.
Melbourne Heart defender Patrick Kisnorbo has credited the side’s A-League-leading form to playing without pressure.
Heart hit rock bottom at the end of the year but under new coach John van `t Schip have completely transformed their fortunes to be an unlikely finals shout.
Four straight wins has drawn Heart level with Perth Glory at the foot of the table and has their fans looking upwards for the first time in months.
Kisnorbo, a veteran of two promotions and a relegation during his time with Leicester and Leeds in English football, said he was enjoying the lack of threat that came without relegation.
“Going into each game with no pressure, things are going our way,” he said.
“There’s no relegation in Australia so even though we’re last there isn’t that stress.”
“We’re playing free.”
Van `t Schip’s influence has undoubtedly been the underlying factor behind Heart’s revitalisation, with Kisnorbo offering his version of the Dutchman’s motivational style.
“OK, you’ve done well, let’s enjoy it for a couple of minutes and then let’s concentrate on the next game,” he said.
Kisnorbo nominated belief and momentum as the two biggest changes amongst the players.
“You look at the ladder, we’re still last,” he said.
“But we’ve got momentum now through a couple of good results and there’s a belief in the squad we can play against anyone at any time.”
Those “couple of good results” actually translates to five wins in their last six games after 19 without a single triumph.
Heart’s latest win, a 1-0 triumph over leaders Brisbane Roar on Sunday, came through Orlando Engelaar’s 60th minute winner but that strike was at least equalled by Kisnorbo’s last minute goalmouth tackle on Besart Berisha.
The veteran defender declined the plaudits that came with keeping his side on top.
“No, no – there’s no hero status. It’s part of the job,” he said.
“As defenders that’s what you’re there for… to be honest it happened so quick I can’t even remember it.
“I just stuck my foot out and hoped for the best and it came off.”
Kisnorbo has also ended a long drought of his own in the past month, netting two goals after four years without troubling the scorers.
The likelihood of earning a contract renewal and hearing his name being read out for Ange Postecoglou’s World Cup squad shortens with every good performance, but both prospects are not worrying the 32-year-old.
“I can’t worry about those things, they’re not in my hands,” he said.