Milligan backs France to do their bit for Socceroos

Mark Milligan remains confident the Socceroos can progress to the knockout phase at the FIFA World Cup™, backing France to help Australia’s cause by beating Denmark.

The Socceroos head into the final match against Peru (Wednesday morning AEST live on SBS and Optus Sport) with their hopes of reaching the last 16 out of their hands.

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Australia not only needs to beat Peru in Sochi, but then hope France does them a favour by beating the Danes.

While the French will start warm favourites to get the result, the concern for Socceroos fans is they may take their foot off the gas with their spot in the last 16 already confirmed.

But Milligan is confident France’s professionalism and quality means they’ll go all-out to beat Denmark and make it a perfect three wins in the group stage for Didier Deschamps’ side.

“I don’t think any team at the World Cup is going to go out with any other attitude than to win the match,” Milligan told reporters in Kazan.

“France have quality right through their squad.

“That’s totally out of our hands but what we do know is that they will go into that match to win.”


With Andrew Nabbout set to miss the game with Peru due to a shoulder injury, much of the focus in the next couple of days will be who will lead the line at Fisht Stadium.

Tomi Juric, Jamie Maclaren and Tim Cahill are all in contention for the starting spot, with the former the only one to see any game time so far in Russia.

Milligan said Cahill, who is hoping to play – and score – at a fourth FIFA World Cup™, will be “frustrated” not to have featured as yet but stressed his importance to the squad.

"We have three strikers that are chomping at the bit at the minute to put their hand up for this next match," Milligan said.

"I guess all the talk about Timmy and everything, you guys don't see what we see in camp.

“While I'm sure, undoubtedly, he's frustrated that he's not had his shot yet, the amount of help that he gives to the players around him, including talking today before training, is unbelievable.

"What happens [against Peru] I'm not sure; what I do know is if Tim is called upon, he'll be more than ready."

Tim Cahill celebrates scoring a goal in training.

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Asked what Australia needed to do to beat Peru, Milligan said: "I think we need to go into the match with a little bit more belief in what we can do and what we can achieve because we know it's there, I think we showed it.

"And I think if we start the game from the very beginning like that, then I don't think we're scrambling for a goal in the last 15 minutes.

"We're all very confident [of making the knockouts]. Although yesterday we fell a little bit short, we know that there's still a lot more in this team."

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