Football 1 year ago

Roos need discipline under pressure: Ange

  • Roos need discipline under pressure: Ange

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 07: Socceroos head coach Ange Postecoglou getsures to players uring the International Friendly match between the Australian Socceroos and Greece at Etihad Stadium on June 7, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

He won't brand it a wake-up call, but coach Ange Postecoglou concedes there are lessons to be learnt from the Socceroos' loss to Greece three months out from the last World Cup qualifiers.

Australia went down 2-1 at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night, victims of Giannis Maniatis' wonder goal and a Greece outfit much improved since being beaten 1-0 in Saturday's first friendly in Sydney.

The Socceroos did nothing to help themselves in an uncharacteristically flat performance, and one Postecoglou said lacked enough composure to recover from an early 2-0 deficit.

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The coach stressed the importance of staying calm even when the score was skewing against them.

"It's not a wake-up call, I don't need wake-up calls - I'm well aware of where we're at," Postecoglou said.

"It wasn't a great night for us. We didn't really stamp our authority on the game.

"They got a jump on us early and we didn't really recover from that.

"We've got to deal with that sort of situation better.

"It's one game so I'm not going to sit here and pull our game plan apart, something that's worked really for us.

"The most disappointing thing was that we went away from what we're good at and tried to match them with what they're good at - and they're better at it than us.

"We just need more discipline to play our football, even in adverse situations where the opposition get the jump on you."

The two-match series also followed Australia's 2-1 friendly loss to England in Sunderland, where the Socceroos were particularly impressive.

Postecoglou acknowledged that the final Greece match - their first home loss since January 2015 - may have been "one game too many" given a large chunk of his squad had also just finished their seasons.

"They just didn't have the physical conditioning coming into the game we need them to have," he said.

"September is going to be really important for that.

"It's going to be pretty important selecting players who play regularly or are in good physical condition, because we've got double game dates coming up and they're going to be challenging."

On the whole, Postecoglou took more positives than negatives from the three games, as the Socceroos look ahead to the last phase of World Cup qualifying starting against Iraq at home on September 1.

"We discovered a couple of players, or we know there are a couple there now who can certainly add to where we're at," he said.

"Overall it was three quality games against good opponents.

"The exercise about building towards September was good for us, so more positives than negatives from my perspective."

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