Socceroo attack pledge
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.”