Football 1 year ago

Postecoglou turns up heat for Socceroos

  • Postecoglou turns up heat for Socceroos

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 01: Ange Postecoglou head coach of the Socceroos watches on during an Australian Socceroos training session at Leichhardt Oval on June 1, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Tough-talking Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou expects the United Arab Emirates to be afraid of Australia in their World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night.

And according to the Asian Cup-winning boss, they should be.

Postecoglou is undaunted by the sultry weather, the opposition, a hostile crowd or the stakes at play when the two sides meet at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium.

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Organisers have thrown open the gates to the match, hoping to fill the 42,000-seat venue on the back of UAE's stunning 2-1 win over Japan in their first qualifier.

But Postecoglou isn't one to take a backward step, talking up the Socceroos and urging Australians to do the same.

"I think they'd be a bit fearful of us and have every right to be. I expect them to sit back," he said.

"Other teams probably hold us in higher regard than we do ourselves."

Postecoglou named set pieces, and particularly direct free-kicks, as the Socceroos' biggest threat - and not feted midfielder Oman Abdulrahman.

Australia will deal with the talented 24-year-old "the same way they'll contend with Tommy Rogic or Aaron Mooy or Mass Luongo", according to Postecoglou.

"We've got to be really wary about in and around the box," he said.

"They try and get free kicks and we've got to be disciplined in our approach to defending so we don't allow those things to happen."

Day-time temperatures in the UAE capital have soared to at least 43 degrees every day of the Socceroos visit.

In the evening, the mercury remains well above 30 degrees and the humidity swells, presenting the most challenging of conditions.

Postecoglou won't let it be an excuse.

"There's no one better in the world than Aussies in dealing with this," he said, before confirming no changes to the team's upbeat attacking style.

"If we do anything that adjusts we might as well play their game and they're better at their game than we are," he said.

"The conditions take care of tempo. There's certain limits the human body can go to.

"We're going to try and make it uncomfortable for them. The way we make it uncomfortable is to make sure we have more possession, we play in their half, we try and dominate, we get open as much as possible."

Mile Jedinak, the only Socceroo to have started all three previous meetings with the Gulf state, did not train on Sunday but is expected to be fit.

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