Arnold push­ing Aussies to make win­ning a habit

Mercury (Hobart) - - SOCCER - MARTY SILK

GRA­HAM Arnold has chal­lenged Aus­tralia to win ev­ery re­main­ing 2022 World Cup qual­i­fier af­ter it held on for an his­toric but gritty 1-0 win over Jor­dan in Am­man.

Be­fore yes­ter­day’s vic­tory, Aus­tralia had never beaten the hosts away, los­ing 1-0 in the 2019 Asian Cup group stage in the UAE, 2-0 in a World Cup qual­i­fier in 2015 and 2-1 in an­other World Cup qual­i­fier back in 2012.

Arnold be­lieves his play­ers proved them­selves in their tough­est qual­i­fier yet, but he is de­mand­ing they main­tain fo­cus when they play Kuwait on March 26.

“We’re go­ing for 24 [points], you know I want, I ex­pect the boys to build a win­ning men­tal­ity,” he said.

“That’s what we talk a lot about and we want to go through this whole phase un­de­feated and get­ting eight wins and get­ting 24 points and with a great goal dif­fer­ence.

“It’s about im­prov­ing ev­ery time we catch up and ev­ery time we get into camp it’s about build­ing what we’ve been build­ing, and you can see our at­tack­ing play­ers get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter and the men­tal­ity of the boys work­ing-wise is fan­tas­tic.”

The Soc­ceroos have suf­fered se­lec­tion is­sues be­cause of in­juries and fa­tigue caused by long-dis­tance travel this cam­paign. But Arnold is op­ti­mistic he will soon be able to field a full-strength side and his squad won’t lose the co­he­sion they have de­vel­oped.

“They’ll be fine,” he said. “Like I said when I turned up it was 23-25 strangers and now I’ve got 23 great mates that want to fight for each other and work for each other.”

Striker Adam Tag­gart, who scored the win­ner yes­ter­day, said it had been a “qual­ity” cam­paign and it would be a frus­trat­ing wait un­til the next match at home against Kuwait.

“It would be nice to freshen up and it was nice to end the year on a high,” he said.

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