Football 1 year ago

Postecoglou to experiment against England

  • Postecoglou to experiment against England

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 26: Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou arrives ahead of the 2016 FFA Dolan Warren Awards at Carriageworks on April 26, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Ange Postecoglou will use the friendly against England as an opportunity to experiment with his Australian side before their crucial World Cup qualifying campaign.

A 23-man Socceroos squad assembled in the United Kingdom this week, with four potential debutants for the clash at Sunderland's Stadium of Light on Friday.

A-League duo Stefan Mauk and Jamie Maclaren join English-based Brad Inman and 1860 Munchen talent Milos Degenek as potential first starters.

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Postecoglou has shown he's not afraid to try new blood against world-class opposition, having handed centre back Luke DeVere his first Socceroos cap against world champions Germany in 2015.

And the Australian coach has hinted there could be more debuts to come this week.

"It's not as if I've ever worried about going into games with guys who other people may not think are up to this level," Postecoglou said.

"Regardless whether it's at the World Cup or friendly games weve played, it's not about feeling comfortable. I've always backed our players and I'll do that on Friday night, too.

"It's a friendly so it does give us an opportunity to make a number of substitutions."

Postecoglou also plans to use the England game as a chance to work on his tactics, something opposing boss Roy Hodgson is also likely to do.

Hodgson's side started with a 4-3-3 against Turkey on Sunday, with Premiership hero Jamie Vardy on the left, Harry Kane in the middle and Raheem Sterling wide right.

At halftime, he switched to his preferred diamond system, with Vardy joining Kane much closer to the middle and Sterling slotting in behind them.

In the past, Postecoglou has played with a centre forward and two wide attackers who are supported by a pair of central midfielders and a holding midfielder shielding the back four.

But he's toying with tweaking that system on Friday.

"I'm pretty keen on us becoming a team that can adapt to all sorts of situations. Friendly games you get an opportunity to build on that," Postecoglou said.

The Socceroos game is Hodgson's second-last chance to experiment with his squad before the European Championships in June.

England's final friendly before the tournament is a game against Portugal at Wembley next week.

"I do rate them highly. I like the way he's set up the team. He's put a lot of young guys in, which kind of fits my philosophy," Postecoglou said.

"They're heading down the right path. Whatever they do out of these Euros, you look at the likes of Kane and [Dele] Alli, and John Stones - all these guys you kind of think will be better for the experience.

"I rate them very highly, you just have to look at their form in the Euro qualifiers, they stormed through them and that's an indicator of their progress as a team.

"Two years time in a World Cup they could even go even better."

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