Socceroos stars (l-r) Mathew Leckie, Mark Milligan and Robbie Kruse train in Melbourne ahead of the World Cup playoff with Honduras.
Socceroos stars (l-r) Mathew Leckie, Mark Milligan and Robbie Kruse train in Melbourne ahead of the World Cup playoff with Honduras.

Socceroos’ secret session to success

THE stay-back Socceroos believe they can be the secret weapon in Wednesday's night's must-win World Cup qualifying decider.

Mathew Leckie, Robbie Kruse and Mark Milligan were spared the trip to Honduras through a combination of suspension and injury.

These exclusive pictures reveal the secret training sessions at AAMI Park, led by Melbourne Victory and former Socceroos conditioning guru Anthony Crea, monitored by national team physio Nino La Scala.

Milligan, who could slot into midfield or defence at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday, said the mini-camp was flawless and the fresh legs could be telling.

"It's a strength of ours not just now, but previously too. This is a bit different with the three of us in Australia,'' Milligan said.

"There might only be a few of us but it feels like that camp atmosphere now.

Socceroos stars (l-r) Mathew Leckie, Robbie Kruse and Mark Milligan train at AAMI Park ahead of Wednesday night’s World Cup playoff second leg against Honduras.
Socceroos stars (l-r) Mathew Leckie, Robbie Kruse and Mark Milligan train at AAMI Park ahead of Wednesday night’s World Cup playoff second leg against Honduras.

"It's good that even though we didn't travel, the setup and information we're still getting from the national team, from (sports scientist) Craig Duncan, from (physio) Les (Gelis), from the boss (Postecoglou), on what we need to be doing and what he wants.

"That just sums up the way that we've setup and the atmosphere we've created in the system.''

Leckie and Kruse stayed in Germany to overcome injuries before arriving in Melbourne on Thursday.

"For sure (it was justified). The boys that are here will be buzzing on Wednesday,'' Leckie said.

"There was no sense in going to Honduras. Coming here made much more sense. We get to adapt to the time zone a few days ahead of them.

"The boss likes to get fresh players on. In the end it helps especially when you're getting into the last parts of the game.

Socceroos stars (l-r) Mark Milligan, Robbie Kruse and Mathew Leckie train at AAMI Park ahead of Wednesday night’s World Cup playoff second leg against Honduras.
Socceroos stars (l-r) Mark Milligan, Robbie Kruse and Mathew Leckie train at AAMI Park ahead of Wednesday night’s World Cup playoff second leg against Honduras.

"It's good and the depth of the squad is what you need and what you want.

"Tommy Rogic didn't start, who is a weapon when he's on the ball. The boss' plans, knows that he'll get more joy at home on a good pitch so he's another option. Tim (Cahill) didn't play.''

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou was looking forward to unleashing his trio.

"I think that's going to be an enormous asset for us,'' Postecoglou said

"The beauty of having Millsy, Lecks, Krusey there are three very important players for us.

"It will be really handy for us as we saw with the Syria game, knowing we've got some fresh, important bodies for the second leg."

Milligan said his Melbourne Victory appearance in the Melbourne Cup Eve clash was priceless.

"It was important I got that 90 minutes under my belt. If I travelled I would've missed out,'' he said.

"It took any risk of travel fatigue and things like that out of it. But they were confident in doing it knowing that the information coming back and the team on the ground here is spot on.''



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