Football 3 years ago

Ange flags Socceroos changes v Bangladesh

  • Ange flags Socceroos changes v Bangladesh

The Socceroos could be top of their World Cup qualifying group by Wednesday, but coach Ange Postecoglou is determined to ignore anything beyond Tuesday's match with Bangladesh as he attempts to keep his squad settled amid extremely unsettled circumstances.

Postecoglou flagged at least two or three alterations for the clash at Dhaka's Bangabandhu National Stadium, in a bid to draw more development from the national team in their final qualifying fixture of the year.

Much of the change is injury-inflicted, with Roda JC striker Tomi Juric and Celtic playmaker Tom Rogic both 11th-hour withdrawals after picking up "minor strains" in Thursday's 3-0 mauling of Kyrgyzstan in Canberra.

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With German-based winger Mathew Leckie (illness) also out, it gives Postecoglou fewer front-third options.

But the coach insisted he's still well-equipped, especially given he expected the already-eliminated Bangladesh to sit deep.

He flagged the potential for another twin-striker formation on the back of its success against Kyrgyzstan, praising the partnership of frontmen Tim Cahill and Nathan Burns.

"We obviously have Timmy and Burnsy, and James Troisi didn't play. Neither did Tommy Oar so he's fresh," Postecoglou said in Singapore where the team had one final training session before flying to Dhaka on Monday night.

"I think we're quite comfortable in those areas.

"Burnsy looked really good, he looked sharp, he was getting in behind them and causing them problems.

"Probably could have had a couple of goals, and Timmy got his goal but also could have had a couple more, so they worked well together.

"I don't want to make too many changes to the team because obviously I don't want it to be too disruptive."

Postecoglou is reluctant to look beyond Tuesday's match, a security-laden hit-and-run mission to the already unstable Bangladesh in the wake of the weekend's terror attacks in Paris.

Given the off-field distractions, his central priority is keeping his playing group focused throughout one of the most difficult trips the Socceroos have had to make.

A heavily favoured win over 180th-ranked Bangladesh would put Australia back in the reckoning to finish ahead of their qualifying group leaders Jordan and ensure progression to the next stage on the road to Russia.

Having already glided to a trouble-free 5-0 victory over the Bengal Tigers in Perth in September, the odds of another giant scoreline are entirely on the cards.

It would entertain the enticing possibility of overtaking the Jordanians, who unnerved the Socceroos 2-0 last month but are only one point ahead and face a difficult away fixture to Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek on Tuesday.

Should Australia triumph, the pressure will be firmly back on Jordan ahead of a likely showdown for top spot in Australia early next year.

"Jordan have got a tricky one in Kyrgyzstan tomorrow night, so who knows?" Postecoglou said.

"That doesn't concern me, what I know is that if we win all three games we finish top. The rest of it I guess is just commentary.

"What's important is you try and do the best with what's in your hands.

"As we sit, the ability to finish first is in our hands so that's what we'll focus on."

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