Football 3 years ago

Socceroos must 'be pros' in Dhaka

  • Socceroos must 'be pros' in Dhaka

Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury says the team still have to be professionals despite heading into Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh as unbackable favourites.

Security threats aside, Australia should have no problems accounting for Bangladesh, the world's 180th-ranked side, having waltzed to an easy 5-0 victory in their last meeting in September at Perth's nib Stadium.

On that night, the Bengal Tigers could barely keep up with the Socceroos, who broke whatever feint resistance they had with three goals inside the first 20 minutes.

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Heavy losses to Kyrgyzstan, Jordan and Tajikistan followed, leaving Bangladesh dead last on the Group B ladder and officially out of the World Cup reckoning.

"Bangladesh is probably a young footballing nation, I guess," said Sainsbury, who wasn't part of the team that faced them in his home town of Perth.

"They're only going to get better with time, but it's going to be a while before they start challenging the better teams in Asia.

"I think they're going to sit off with quite a few numbers behind the ball and we're going to have the majority of possession.

"I don't think they're going to trouble too much in terms of going forward but, at the same time, we've got to pay them a little bit of respect on their home ground.

"(Coach) Ange (Postecoglou) keeps pointing out to us that you're there wearing the green and gold, so be professional."

The only difficulty the Socceroos should face in Dhaka will be off the field.

Their trip comes little more than a month after Cricket Australia cancelled a planned two-Test tour of Bangladesh due to concerns about possible terrorist attacks against Australian interests.

The Socceroos are preparing in Singapore before heading to the Bangladeshi capital on Monday, with their travel plans unchanged despite the harrowing attacks in Paris.

Left-back James Meredith, who made his national team debut last week in the win over Kyrgyzstan, said the players were putting their faith in Football Federation Australia's security arrangements.

"I'm not as experienced as the other lads, I don't know what the pitch or the team will be like, but I'm sure we'll be briefed on everything," he said.

"I'm expecting very difficult sort of conditions.

"I'm just really looking forward to potentially playing in another game that could really help Australia get to the top of the table."

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