No way we can lose to Hon­duras

But Slater will be ner­vous

The Observer - - SPORT | WORLD CUP FOOTBALL - Phil Dil­lon News Re­gional

EX-SOCCEROOS star Rob­bie Slater says the thought of de­feat by Hon­duras tonight hasn’t even en­tered his head and he fully ex­pects Ange Postecoglou’s side to qual­ify for next year’s World Cup fi­nals in Rus­sia.

Slater, now a pun­dit for Fox Sports, made 44 ap­pear­ances for his coun­try, scor­ing one goal.

He played in Terry Ven­ables’ team that was 2-0 up on Iran in the home leg of the play-off for the World Cup in France al­most 20 years ago, be­fore even­tu­ally draw­ing 2-2 and go­ing out on away goals with the tie level at 3-3 on ag­gre­gate.

Slater said he thought about that game ev­ery day but while he said there would be ups and downs at ANZ Sta­dium tonight, he backed Postecoglou’s men to come out on top.

“You don’t even want to think about it (a loss),” Slater said.

“The thought of de­feat doesn’t en­ter my head and hope­fully it’s in no one else’s.

“But it is a pos­si­bil­ity. It’s 0-0. Any­thing can hap­pen in foot­ball. It’s go­ing to be a ner­vous wait.

“I fully ex­pect us to win but such are the quirks of foot­ball, you can be the best team and lose. That’s the sit­u­a­tion we are in and we have got to deal with that.

“It’s our last chance. There has been a lot said about be­ing where we are.

“The first fail­ure was not to qual­ify di­rectly, so you put your­self into these sud­den-death sit­u­a­tions and it’s go­ing down to the wire.”

Slater said while com­par­isons were be­ing made to the play­off game in 2005 against Uruguay and tonight’s clash, Hon­duras were not in the same class as the South Amer­i­cans.

“I cer­tainly don’t want to be dis­re­spect­ful to Hon­duras but what they showed – one shot on goal at home in 90 minutes against us – we have noth­ing to fear qual­ity wise,” he said.

“There are no ex­cuses. We just have to win. I am ex­pect­ing us to win.”

Slater said he ex­pected a typ­i­cal Postecoglou line-up and per­for­mance for tonight’s game with the Socceroos’ tal­is­man – Tim Cahill – lead­ing the line.

“He de­clared him­self fit and rar­ing to go so I ex­pect him to start,” Slater said.

“And af­ter what he did against Syria, why wouldn’t you?”

Socceroos v Hon­duras Live, ad-break free dur­ing play and in HD at 6.30pm on Fox Sports 501.

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