TIPS FOR RUS­SIA 2018

Australian Four Four Two - - WORLD CUP 2014 -

What’s your ad­vice for the class of 2018?

Many will have had the ex­pe­ri­ence of Brazil. You can’t buy that ex­pe­ri­ence in those high-pres­sure games – although this group did it the hard way in qual­i­fi­ca­tion as well. They’ve had cut-throat games where they had to win against Hon­duras, and that’s the sort of at­mos­phere and pres­sure they’re go­ing to be un­der. But ba­si­cally, just en­joy it and em­brace it. Don’t get wrapped up in the emo­tion of it – treat it like any other game and en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence, be­cause you don’t know if you’re ever go­ing to get another chance to not only play at a World Cup, but play for Aus­tralia. Things can al­ways change at any time. There’s pres­sure and ex­pec­ta­tion but if you can en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence, it re­ally adds to it. If you’re en­joy­ing your foot­ball, you’re play­ing at your best any­way.

Who’s your favourite cur­rent Soc­ceroo?

I re­ally ad­mire Mile Je­d­i­nak for what he’s done in the game. We were to­gether at Cen­tral Coast when he first came back from Croa­tia and was look­ing for a con­tract. I re­mem­ber him driv­ing up from Syd­ney every day to train with us. Just the way he stuck to his guns and be­lieved in him­self, it’s great for me per­son­ally to sit back and watch him for what he’s achieved in the

game and to now be cap­tain­ing the team. It’s good to see him still kicking on and do­ing so well.

Who’s the big­gest dan­ger­man they’ll face in Group C?

France have got a whole squad of them. Den­mark have got Chris­tian Erik­sen, he’s a first-class player and is great to watch. He can as­sist from any­where on the field and also fin­ish very well from out­side the box. It’s the World Cup – there’s not go­ing to be any team that doesn’t have good play­ers. I don’t think they’ll be fo­cus­ing too much on in­di­vid­u­als. If you do that it can bring you un­done.

Who will be the star of this World Cup?

Aus­tralia-wise, a key player will be Trent Sains­bury. He’s got a lot of caps and ex­pe­ri­ence un­der his belt now. He’s great on the ball and his pass­ing is very im­por­tant for the way we like to play. Out of all the other teams I’m not sure, but out of Aus­tralia, he’s a re­ally im­por­tant part of our squad.

What’s your pre­dic­tion for the Soc­ceroos?

We’ve got a re­ally good chance. I don’t think peo­ple should get car­ried away and say it’s a fan­tas­tic group, there’s still a lot of qual­ity there. But it gives us every chance to qual­ify if we are good enough. The boys will go in pretty con­fi­dent that they can get some re­sults and get through.

Who will win it all?

It’s tough. Brazil are fly­ing at the mo­ment. They’re do­ing re­ally well. They qual­i­fied very eas­ily, they’ll be a very good chance. And Ger­many are al­ways good in big tour­na­ments. It’ll prob­a­bly be out of those two, just for a change.

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