I’m con­fi­dent we’ll fin­ish the job in Syd­ney and se­cure our ticket to Rus­sia

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - FOOTBALL - ROB­BIE SLATER FOR­MER SOC­CEROO

AF­TER what we saw in Hon­duras, I ex­pect the Socceroos to be pack­ing their bags for Rus­sia on Wed­nes­day night.

Apart from the fin­ish­ing, it was a solid per­for­mance and credit this time has to be given to Ange Postecoglou.

In what has been a dif­fi­cult qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign, when we needed it the most his tac­tics were spot on.

Peo­ple might say it was a no-brainer to bring Mile Je­d­i­nak back, but re­ally, it was a big call be­cause he hadn’t started a game in so long.

And he cer­tainly didn’t dis­ap­point; Je­d­i­nak was su­perb in front of the back three.

The hard­est de­ci­sion Ange will prob­a­bly have to make is whether or not he will start Je­d­i­nak again on Wed­nes­day night.

He seemed to get through the game with­out any prob­lems and, though he’ll cer­tainly have tired legs, the char­tered flight will help him re­cover.

Ange has the ben­e­fit of adding some fresh legs for the re­turn leg at ANZ Sta­dium, with Mark Mil­li­gan, Mathew Leckie, Rob­bie Kruse and Tim Cahill hope­fully all avail­able.

So there’s plenty of qual­ity com­ing in, plus the char­tered flight home is a mas­sive bonus for us be­cause we’ll ar­rive 24 hours be­fore the Hon­durans.

Of course we have to be care­ful; 0-0 is a dan­ger­ous re­sult be­cause any scored draw would see Hon­duras go through. But noth­ing we saw from them should make us wor­ried.

If we’re any­where near our best, and we con­vert our chances, we should win the game.

But how do we im­prove our fin­ish­ing? Scor­ing goals has been the prob­lem all cam­paign and was again in Hon­duras.

They are not go­ing to have much time to work on it be­fore Wed­nes­day, with the next few days just about fresh­en­ing ev­ery­one up and build­ing up that be­lief.

And any­way, there’s not much more you can work on in re­spect to putting the ball in the back of the net be­cause the lead up play is good and the ar­eas the play­ers are get­ting into are good.

It re­ally is about a player, as we saw with Cahill against Syria ap­ply­ing the fin­ish­ing touch.

Is Timmy go­ing to be fit enough? If he is fit you’d be pretty sure he’ll start, like he did against Syria, and it worked to per­fec­tion.

We know what Timmy gives us, there’s no ques­tion mark there, and I’m sure if that an­kle is right to go he’ll be start­ing.

Ev­ery­thing is point­ing to a real party at­mos­phere at ANZ Sta­dium and, no mat­ter who starts, I have full con­fi­dence that we will win, and we’ll win well.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.