Ange wants Roos to make themselves at home in away game
SOCCEROOS boss Ange Postecoglou has called on his players to impose themselves away as they do at home, starting tonight against Tajikistan.
Tim Cahill is likely to be among several inclusions from the team that beat Bangladesh 5-0 in Perth, while a cloud hangs over defender Matthew Spiranovic who missed Sunday night’s session with illness.
The carpet-like artificial surface will be in stark contrast to the bumpy Bishkek pitch away to Kyrgyzstan, where Australia just got over the line 2-1 in June.
The Socceroos will again face an intimidating atmosphere with 20,000 set to cram Dushanbe’s Republican Central Stadium, but Postecoglou said they should not be fazed.
“The challenge for us in this game will be ‘can we dominate away from home as we did at home’ – that’s what we need to get to,’’ Postecoglou said.
“That’s what we will try to do so that people and opposition teams understand that whoever we play against and where we play, that’s going to be our intent and their job is going to be to try to stop us.
“Some of the challenges are not all football challenges in this early part.
‘‘Kyrgyzstan, the atmosphere was pretty electric and pretty hostile. This one will be the same.
“That’s really good practice for us, to be able to use that as energy rather than be intimidated by that.
‘‘We are going to have some really difficult away trips moving forward, and the more you can expose these guys to these elements, the better they’ll be.’’
The Socceroos have a chance to put a foot in the next phase of the Asian Football Confederation World Cup qualifiers, with nearest rival Jordan (two points adrift) away to Bangladesh.
Tajikistan lost 3-1 at home to Jordan in June before drawing 1-1 away to Bangaldesh.
“We want to pile on the points now,’’ Postecoglou said.
“Our last two games are at home and hopefully things have gone well and we’ve solidified qualification by that stage and continued to evolve the team without the pressure of needing to get to the next round.
“Three out of the first four qualifiers are away. Two were to places we had never been before and with the third away game against Jordan, we knew if we could get some good early results and bowl up points we could really push forward in the back half of this qualifying without that nervousness.’’
Left back Jason Davidson said the players would not compromise their attacking style.
He said: “With Bangladesh, we knew we were going to dominate. Even other teams we’ve played against, like Germany, we took it to them and the fullbacks got forward, so it’s not just because we’re playing weaker opposition.’’