Stajcic: 'I'll back our players all the time'

Westfield Matildas coach Alen Stajcic said a surprise 3-2 friendly defeat to Chile in Penrith on Saturday would not trigger any changes to the way his side plays.

Sloppy defensive work cost Australia at Pepper Stadium, with Chile’s first two goals coming from defensive mix-ups.

And despite a pair of Emily van Egmond penalties for the Westfield Matildas, Chile proved too good in a major upset.

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Stajcic bemoaned his side’s errors after the match but said that he would continue to ask his side to play in a positive manner.

“We can’t ask players to play out and then… when an error happens, say we’re going to throw out the baby with the bathwater, we just have to be better,” he said.

“We’ve been playing with a certain style for a long time, and, you know, games like this happen. 

“The England game [last month]… we were poor and got a draw, sometimes a result is not a reflection of a performance.

“We don’t want those errors but I’ll back our players all the time.

“We didn’t execute some of those things well today and some key errors cost us goals but we’ll keep playing that way. 


“We’ll just keep trying to get better, better and better as we move forward and wanting to eliminate those errors and make better decisions.

“But we’re not going to change the way we play or personnel just based on one error.”

Stajcic said that Chile “had three chances in the game and they scored three, so it’s a little bit disappointing”.

And he added that he felt his side “panicked a touch” after going behind.

“We gifted them certainly two of those [goals] and probably even the third one as well, but that’s international football, you get punished for your errors,” Stajcic said.

“We created enough to get into goal-scoring positions… the clinical element that was required a few times probably went missing.

“And then once the scoreline went in their favour, we had a period there where I thought we panicked a touch and lost that tempo that we’d had in earlier patches of the game.

Kerr Chile

“We still controlled large portions of the game… but lots of errors we can improve on, for sure.”

Chile coach Jose Letelier said that it “would have been irresponsible” to predict his side would win before the match.

But the 39th-ranked nation shocked the Westfield Matildas and Letelier said Chile’s victory was “huge for women’s football in Chile”, speaking via a translator.

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This article was originally published on the Westfield Matildas website.