Irvine has all right moves to tame Syria
JACKSON Irvine is reaping the rewards of his hard-nosed UK football education.
And the Hull City man ready to use it against Syria.
With a penchant for physicality seen as far back as his days at Melbourne stateleague club Frankston Pines, developed in Scotland as a teenager and fine-tuned in England’s lower leagues, Irvine, 25, was the perfect man to take on Palestine striker Mahmoud Wadi.
His energy off the bench in Australia’s opening 1-0 loss to Jordan earned him a start in that second-out 3-0 win over Palestine.
Irvine is in strong contention to start again in tonight’s fixture that will determine whether the Socceroos progress from Group B in second, remain in contention in third, or go home in last.
And there’s a sense Syria, needing all three points, might allow the Socceroos to play through more centrally.
“I think at some point in the game that will probably be the case,” Irvine said.
“We’re not sure obviously how they’re going to approach the game but we’re prepared for all these scenarios.
“We’ve got enough experience to recognise moments in games when you need to show that game intelligence.
“If we start the game in the same way we started the last game – positive, frontfoot, picking the right moments to try and penetrate and play forward passes – then if we can get that early goal that will draw them out even further knowing they need a result.
“Hopefully that can open the game up even more for us to play some free-flowing, attacking football.” is