Qantas Socceroos coach Holger Osieck has admitted that Australia’s recent results in the FIFA World Cup qualification campaign haven’t met expectations, but said his battle-hardened side are ready to do the business against Jordan.
Qantas Socceroos coach Holger Osieck has admitted that Australia-s recent results in the FIFA World Cup qualification campaign haven-t met expectations, but said his battle-hardened side are ready to do the business against Jordan.
The friendly loss to Scotland threw some light on the Socceroos indifferent run of late, including two hard-fought draws against Oman and Japan, and on the coach-s desire to stick with a tried and tested squad of players.
But Osieck said he drew plenty of positives from recent results, including that his players are strong enough to take Australia through this round of qualifying.
“I-m not naive and I know you get measured by results,” Osieck said.
“But if you look at the positive we gained two points. If you look at circumstances and what we had to go through it was definitely not a loss because we gained a lot from those games.
"The team grew together and what the team delivered against Oman in extreme circumstances, and against Japan after a very short break and long travel was remarkable.
“I wouldn-t put much into the Scotland game - it-s not nice to lose but you get a lot of good information from games like that. I can tell you we will see a different team against Jordan.”
There were no major surprises in Osieck-s squad for the friendly against Lebanon and qualifier against Jordan in Amman four days later, with recalls for senior players such as Tim Cahill, Jade North and Matt McKay.
But a number of younger players have been recalled following the resumption of the European leagues, including James Holland, Adam Sarota and Jason Davidson, so unlucky in his debut against Scotland.
“It was very unfortunate,” Osieck said of Davidson-s own goal in Edinburgh.
“I felt sorry for him he was at the end of a chain of a sequence of mistakes and he had to pay for it, and now to kill him and say he-s not good enough wouldn-t be fair. He has good potential, I have confidence and he-s not the only one who had an unfortunately debut and made a good career.”
Holland and Sarota both now have golden opportunities to prove to the national team coaching staff that they are ready to make the step up.
“Holland-s a regular starter with Austria Vienna and he deserves the invitation - this doesn-t mean he will get playing time but it's an opportunity for me to work with him again.
“Sarota-s back in the [Utrecht] team regularly, in various positions; he-s pretty versatile - the Utrecht coach used him in a 4231 on the left flank as a wide midfield, then played him behind two strikers in attacking midfield role, so he has the confidence of the coach to perform.
“Adam is a very talent player and I expect a lot of him - but I told him you only have a chance with Socceroos when you-re playing regularly.”
The same doesn-t hold true, however, for Melbourne Victory striker Archie Thompson, whose natural presence and constant energy has impressed Osieck.
“I don-t consider him a starter for 90 minutes but Archie is someone who can help the team when he comes on in second half, he brings new energy. He doesn-t need time to adjust, as soon as he enters the pitch he-s in the game right away.
“It is a problem of the league not playing for such a long time but I know with Ange (Postecoglou) he is training very hard is in good game shape and I-m sure he will be ready. Archie is the exception to the rule.”
The Qantas Socceroos face Lebanon in an international friendly at Beirut-s Sports City Stadium, at 8.30pm local time (3.30am AEST, Friday, 7 September).
Following that, the Qantas Socceroos resume their FIFA World Cup qualification campaign against Jordan in Amman, at 7pm on Tuesday, 11 September (2am AEST, Wednesday, 12 September).
The Qantas Socceroos return to Australia in 2013, for the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Oman at Sydney-s Stadium Australia at 7.30pm, Tuesday, 26 March, followed by Iraq, at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 18 June.
Tickets for both matches at Stadium Australia are on sale now through Ticketek or via phone, 132 849.