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"Before the whistle is blown, we're as good as anyone in the world"

Soccer

Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou is used to Australians pondering the permutations of a loss, rather than the ramifications of a win.

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“It doesn’t bother me. We’re used to it,” Postecoglou said.

Much of the build-up to tonight’s Adelaide Oval World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia has centred on the fallout of a potential Australian defeat.

A loss would likely put the Socceroos on a rocky playoff road to qualify for next year’s showpiece tournament in Russia.

But win, and the Australians remain a chance for a top-two finish in their group and direct World Cup qualification.

“You map out a plan and you kind of hope it all comes together,” Postecoglou said.

“And I think we’re in the position I wanted us to be in. They are all big games from now on.”

The Socceroos have three World Cup qualifying group games remaining between tonight and early September – the Saudis, Japan and lowly Thailand.

After the Saudi game, there’s a friendly against Brazil and a Confederations Cup campaign later this month.

“It gets a bit frustrating coaching at international level when you don’t have a lot of activity sometimes,” Postecoglou said.

“And friendly games don’t necessarily get the juices flowing.

“So having these big games, I kind of knew this is the part of the year where it all happens.

“It’s not just me, all the staff have worked really, really hard.

“And this is why you work for, to get an opportunity create some great moments for Australian football and that is the opportunity that is there [tonight].”

Postecoglou reckons he could pick three different Socceroo teams “and still look like a genius”.

And such is depth at his disposal, the Australian coach is confident any of the permutations could conjure a win.

“I could literally put two or three different formations out there and I would be pretty comfortable in putting them all out there to get the job done,” he told reporters yesterday.

“And that is the kind of position we wanted to be in and it’s certainly a strength of ours.

“I kind of reckon I could come up with three or four different formations and still look like a genius. So, I guess I’m in a decent spot.”

Postecoglou said the Socceroos would never have the resources of some other football nations – but other countries would never have Australia’s resourcefulness.

“I will back our organisation at Socceroos level against any national team in the world,” he said.

“Yeah, we’re not flushed for funds.

“But the guys we have got working in the backroom staff are absolutely world’s best.”

Postecoglou said it was an Australian trait to do more, with less.

“We have always been pretty good as a nation, as Australians, at not looking for excuses but rather finding solutions,” he said.

“That is when we’re at our best.

“If we want excuses, there are plenty of them … we don’t have the resources and we probably never will of some nations.

“We don’t certainly look at it and think we’re disadvantaged at national-team level in the way we work.

“We pride ourselves, and the whole organisation got behind the national team in that respect, to make sure that before the whistle is blown, we’re as good as anyone in the world.”

-AAP

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