Australia players exercise during a training session in St. Petersburg in Russia. Photo:AP
Australia players exercise during a training session in St. Petersburg in Russia. Photo:AP

Postecoglou won't field first XI against Cameroon

SOCCEROOS coach Ange Postecoglou will make a number of changes to the side that faces Cameroon in their must win Confederations Cup match tonight (Friday 1am AEST), but will only decide on the nature of those changes after seeing how the squad pull up after final training in St Petersburg.

With three matches in seven days and substantial travel between venues, Postecoglou said "it doesn't make sense to keep going in with the same XI" as he plots a route to the semi-finals that, in all likelihood, will require wins over both the African Champions and Chile in Moscow three days later.

Cameroon enjoyed an extra day's rest following their opening defeat to the South Americans, another reason fresh legs will be invaluable when they meet.

The first of the two assignments appears on paper to be an more manageable prospect, though Postecoglou insisted the team were not taking Cameroon lightly, after having watched them during their successful Africa Cup of Nations campaign earlier in the year.

 

Australia's coach Ange Postecoglou has not finalised the team he will use in the match between Cameroon and Australia. Photo:AFP
Australia's coach Ange Postecoglou has not finalised the team he will use in the match between Cameroon and Australia. Photo:AFP

"They're a good side," said Postecoglou at his pre-match press conference. "We're well aware of what they can bring.

"They showed against Chile in moments they can be very dangerous, particularly in transition.

"But ultimately it will still come back down to [us]. One lesson about the first game [against Germany] was that, if anything, we probably needed to concentrate a bit more on ourselves and what we are trying to achieve and not pay too much respect to the opposition."

"I don't see any game as more winnable than any other. If you start thinking in those terms you may miss out on an opportunity along the way. I don't think the Cameroon game's going to be any easier and we certainly won't approach it as any easier than the first one or the third one."

With a fully fit squad to select from, Mark Milligan will again lead out the side. He called on his teammates to cut out the early lapses that have cost the Socceroos in their last two games

"Leading in to the game tomorrow [the message will be] that we need to be brave, we need to stick to exactly what we've looked at and what we've been working on leading in to the match.

"If we stay true to ourselves and our structure early on, then things will go a lot smoother."

Postecoglou will have added motivation to succeed against Cameroon, after their Belgian coach Hugo Broos accused Australia of playing "very direct with not too many combinations ...[they] try to be asap at goal".

The former Brisbane Roar manager prides himself on his teams playing the right way and has tried to instil a possession based game with the national team.

"It comes down to opinions. If that's his opinion I don't know what he's watching," said Postecoglou.

"We certainly know how we want to play our football. The World Cup winning coach [Joachim Low, who praised the Socceroos' style] saw it differently. So you've got two contrasting opinions. You can choose to believe who you like."

POSSIBLE TEAMS

Australia: Mat Ryan; Bailey Wright, Ryan McGowan, Trent Sainsbury; Mark Milligan, James Jeggo, Aziz Behich, Jackson Irvine, Tom Rogic, Mathew Leckie; Tomi Juric

Cameroon: Fabrice Ondoa; Ernest Mabouka, Adolphe Teikeu, Michael Ngadeu Ngadjui, Collins Fai; Sebastien Siani, Arnaud Djoum, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa; Christian Bassogog, Vincent Aboubakar, Benjamin Moukandjo

News Corp Australia


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