Soc­ceroo at­tack pledge

Sunday Tasmanian - - Sport - TOM SMITHIES

SOC­CEROOS full­back Aziz Be­hich has promised a re­turn to the Aus­tralian at­tack­ing men­tal­ity, as Gra­ham Arnold’s new-look na­tional team pre­pares for its first hit-out.

Likely to get the nod at left back against Kuwait early on Tues­day (AEDT), Be­hich said the for­wards se­lected by Arnold had the po­ten­tial to “do some dam­age”, with the clock tick­ing to­wards Aus­tralia’s de­fence of the Asian Cup in Jan­uary.

Arnold is set to shed the em­pha­sis on be­ing hard to break down that pre­de­ces­sor Bert van Mar­wijk adopted at the World Cup in Rus­sia, seek- ing goals from a va­ri­ety of sources in the wake of Tim Cahill’s re­tire­ment.

For Be­hich — buoyed by a post-World Cup move to Dutch pow­er­house PSV Eind­hoven — that means a li­cence to at­tack, and he played down the ab­sence of Cahill and Mile Je­d­i­nak through re­tire­ment, and Mat Ryan and Aaron Mooy through in­jury.

“It’s def­i­nitely [more at­tack­ing],” Be­hich said. “I’ve never worked with Arnie be­fore but I played against him in the A-League and his teams were al­ways very dif­fi­cult to de­fend against.

“It’s a re­ally at­tack­ing game with the full­backs very high, which suits me. We have a lot of qual­ity go­ing for­ward who can do some dam­age — we showed we can de­fend well at the World Cup, now we’re fo­cus­ing on hit­ting the back of the net more of­ten.

“We’ve been work­ing hard and there’s a bit of fresh air with the new coach­ing staff.”

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